Home / Science / SAM is preparing a party for 8 years on Mars – NASA’s Mars Exploration Program

SAM is preparing a party for 8 years on Mars – NASA’s Mars Exploration Program

Mount Sharp on Mars

A dramatic view of Mount Sharp of Mars: The Mast Camera, or Mastcam, on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used his telephoto lens to capture Mount Sharp in the morning illumination of October 13, 2019, the 2,555th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS. Download image ›

Today Curiosity will deliver some of its newly acquired “Mary Anning” drilling samples to SAM for Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA). During the EGA, SAM generates the powdered rock sample up to 900° C (1

652° F). This releases, or “evolves”, volatile compounds which are then measured. In addition, Navcam will imagine the area in front of the rover and look for the dust devils, Mastcam will take two stereo mosaics from the surrounding countryside and DAN, REMS and RAD will continue to monitor the environment on this site.

Tonight, around 10pm PDT, Curiosity will celebrate 8 (!) Years on Mars. As Curiosity turns 8, we expect celebrations in Gale Crater to include games like “Pin the Mast on the Rover” and “Red Rover” (“Red rover, red rover, send Perseverance on over!”) While enjoying the delicacies SAM’s oven!

Back on Earth, the MSL team also celebrates with a retrospective in the form of 8 Martian postcards including the mosaic at the top of this post, a dust storm selfie, a descriptive tour of Gale Crater, a film about Martian clouds and so on ! You can see this fantastic selection of images from the past 8 years here: mars.nasa.gov/news/8726/.

Thank you for following the Curiosity journey over the past 8 years. We are looking forward to a ninth year and more than exciting explorations and discoveries!

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