Chemistry Department Seminar: Student Comps Presentations

6 April 2022

“Past habitability of Mars: Probing an Ancient Martian Lake using ChemCam on the Curiosity Rover”

Student presentations by Alison Block, Ben Brewster, Neil Givens, Colby King, Tali Kottler, Samihat Rahman, Inger Shelton, Melissa Tan
SuperCam – Roger Wiens (Deborah Gross)

Was there ever life on mars? Investigating signs of water on Mars helps us assess the past habitability of the planet. The NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission’s Curiosity rover, launched in 2011, carries a suite of instruments to help us better understand the Martian environment. One instrument in particular, ChemCam measures the composition of the rocks and soils using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Remote Micro-Imaging (RMI). We will discuss the usefulness of LIBS in gathering evidence for past water on Mars with chemical and physical measurements such as the detection of hydrogen, detection of minerals such as manganese oxides, and the determination of grain size in rocks.