ChemCam Continues to Reveal New Discoveries

The plot shows the progression of the number of ChemCam laser shots per sol over the lifetime of the Curiosity rover’s mission. Credit: Sylvestre Maurice/IRAP .

The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument, and its team, has now been operating on the surface of Mars for eight years, one of the longest streaks of its kind. Only one team has survived longer on the surface of the Red Planet. In that time, the U.S.-French instrument onboard the Curiosity rover has commanded 800,000 laser shots (and counting) and 12,000 images, providing an archive consisting of many gigabits. This volume of data is likely the largest public laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) database on Earth. ChemCam and its team continues to reveal new discoveries to the world through operations, presentations, and publications.