A suite of three instruments called the Sample Analysis at Mars, which will take up more than half the science payload on board, will search for carbon-based compounds associated with life.
The tools, including a mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph, and tunable laser spectrometer, will analyze samples, measuring the abundances of light elements, including hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Read the related story: "The Mars science gear on Curiosity"
August 20, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Conversation powered by Livefyre