Chemistry & Mineralogy (CheMin)
MSL/CheMin Media Resources
PI: David Blake
, NASA Ames Research Center
Download David Blake's biography.
Download CheMin fact sheet.
2010 Commercial Invention of the Year Award
Blake and former NASA post-doctoral fellow Philippe Sarrazin won the 2010 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year Award for developing a powder vibration system used in portable X-ray diffraction (XRD) instruments such as CheMin.
Article: NASA Instrument Will Identify Clues to Martian Past
Download Mars Science Laboratory fact sheet.
Download Mars Science Laboratory press kit.
MSL animation- includes simulated landing and operation of CheMin instrument.
Contributions of CheMin to MSL Science Objectives
An important science goal of the MSL mission is to identify and characterize past or present habitable environments as recorded in sediments and rocks. CheMin is a definitive mineralogy instrument that will identify and quantify the minerals present in rocks and soil delivered to it by the Sample Acquisition, Sample Processing and Handling (SA/SPaH) system. By determining the mineralogy of rocks and soils, CheMin will assess the involvement of water in their formation, deposition, or alteration. In addition, CheMin data will be useful in the search for potential mineral biosignatures, energy sources for life or indicators of past habitable environments. CheMin can unequivocally identify and quantify minerals above its detection limits in complex natural samples such as basalts, multicomponent evaporite systems, and soils. (Read more.)