Curiosity’s First Analysis

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Here are the results of Curiosity’s first mineral analysis of the Martian soil. Interestingly  the initial results tell us the soil the rover has driven through is made up of some material that can be found near volcanos on Earth.

The Chemistry and Mineralogy (or CheMin) instrument tells us more than simply the composition, it also gives us an insight into the structures of the chemicals. For example, the mineral olivine which has a distinctive structure and will only form under a limited set of conditions has been detected, which would not have otherwise been detected if structure analysis was not available.

Mars Landing 2012: Inside the NASA Curiosity Mission
Mars Landing 2012: Inside the NASA Curiosity Mission

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