NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has detected sulfur, chlorine, and oxygen compounds in fine grains scooped by the rover at a wind drift site called 'Rocknest.' The grains were heated and analyzed using the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite.
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Signs of Perchlorates and Sulfur Containing Compounds

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has detected sulfur, chlorine, and oxygen compounds in fine grains scooped by the rover at a wind drift site called "Rocknest." The grains were heated and analyzed using the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM, instrument suite. Scientists indicate the oxygen and chlorine may come from perchlorate or similar compounds, which contain chlorine and oxygen. Perchlorates were also found by NASA's Phoenix Lander at a different location on Mars. The sulfur compounds suggest the presence of sulfides or sulfates in the grains.

JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl, http://www.nasa.gov/mars, and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Image details

ID#:
PIA16575

Date added:
2012-12-03

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Spacecraft:
Curiosity

Instruments:
Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)

Rating:



Views:
2,521

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA16575.tif (5.76 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA16575.jpg (0.19 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC