02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
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
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Neutron Generator 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 (location indicated by red outline), and the detector and electronics module on the port side. 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