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NASA Ames Research Center’s CheMIN: the Martian Soil Mineral Analyzer


(Photo credit: NASA)

NASA’s Curiosity rover scoops up soil to help scientists understand what types of minerals make up the Martian landscape and whether organisms could once have thrived there. Soil is delivered by the rover’s robotic arm to an instrument that identifies and quantifies the minerals present in rocks and soil. By analyzing the rocks and soils, CheMin (short for Chemistry and Mineralogy) assesses the involvement of water in their formation, deposition, or alteration.

A priority of the NASA Ames Technology Transfer Office is to transfer technology developed to support American missions in aeronautics and space exploration to industry, academia and other government agencies for public benefit. This helps to create new products and services, stimulate job growth, and increase U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

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