12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Detectors of Instrument for Detecting Water-Bearing MineralsA Russian-built, neutron-shooting instrument on the Curiosity rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will check for water-bearing minerals in the ground beneath the rover.
The instrument, named Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons, or DAN, has two major components: the pulsed neutron generator on the starboard side of the rover, and the detector and electronics module on the port side (location indicated by red outline). The pulsed neutron generator will shoot high-energy neutrons into the ground. If there is hydrogen in the shallow subsurface, the injected neutrons will bounce off the hydrogen atoms with a characteristic decrease in energy. Two detection devices in the detector and electronics module measure the rate and delay time of the reflected neutrons, yielding information about the amount and depth of any hydrogen. At the mission's near-equatorial landing area and in the oxidizing environment near the Martian surface, most hydrogen is expected to be in the form of water molecules or water-derived hydroxyl ions bound to minerals.
The Russian Federal Space Agency contributed DAN for the Mars Science Laboratory mission as part of broad collaboration between the United States and Russia in the exploration of space.
DAN was developed by the Space Research Institute, Moscow, in close cooperation with the N. L. Dukhov All-Russia Research Institute of Automatics, Moscow, and the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Dubna.
NASA will launch the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft from Florida between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, 2011. The rover will land on Mars in August, 2012. During a prime mission lasting one Mars year (nearly two Earth years), researchers will use the rover to investigate whether conditions in the Gale crater landing region have been favorable for microbial life and favorable for preserving evidence about whether life has existed.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech