Sols 4229-4231: More Analyses of the Mammoth Lakes 2 Sample! – NASA Science

SAM, whose full name is Sample Analysis at Mars, is actually a suite of three different analytical instruments that are used to measure the composition of gases which come off drilled samples as we bake them in SAM’s ovens. The three analytical instruments are called a gas chromatograph, quadrupole mass spectrometer, and tunable laser spectrometer. Each one is particularly suited for measuring specific kinds of compounds in the gases, and these include things like water, methane, carbon, or organic (carbon-containing) molecules. In the EGA experiment that we ran in our last plan, we baked the Mammoth Lakes 2 sample and measured the gas compositions using the tunable laser spectrometer and quadrupole mass spectrometer. In this plan, we’ll deliver a new pinch of sample to the SAM oven and then measure the composition of the gases that are released using the gas chromatograph and quadrupole mass spectrometer. By running both experiments, we’ll have a more thorough understanding of the materials that are in this rock.

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