KEYNOTE: Exploring Mars with Curiosity and Perseverance

Apr 12, 2022
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About This Webinar
NASA is operating two 1-ton rovers on the red planet. Curiosity, which landed in 2012, is a mobile laboratory equipped with a remote laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument (ChemCam), x-ray fluorescence (APXS), x-ray diffraction (CheMin), and an organic lab with a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (SAM). Curiosity found evidence of long-lasting lakes on Mars, whose sediments contain long-chain organic molecules. Perseverance landed in 2021 and has an advanced set of instruments, including 23 cameras and a major goal to collect samples to be returned to Earth. Perseverance’s instruments are now studying the first major deposits of carbonates found on Mars. Roger Craig Wiens provides the latest exploration details from both of these rovers and an update on the sample return plans.

***This presentation premiered during the 2022 Photonics Spectra Spectroscopy Conference. For more information on Photonics Media conferences, visit  

About the presenter:
Roger Craig WiensRoger Craig Wiens, Ph.D., developed the ChemCam laser remote sensing instrument for the Curiosity rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012. He now leads the SuperCam instrument team on the Perseverance rover. With an international team, SuperCam uses LIBS and VIS-IR, Raman, and acoustic spectroscopies, as well as high-resolution imaging, to study remote targets. Wiens is a fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he led the development of these instruments, and, as of early 2022, he is a professor of planetary science at Purdue University. He was knighted by the French government for “forging strong ties between the French and American scientific communities” and for “inspiring many young, ambitious earthlings.” Wiens holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Toulouse and is the namesake of Asteroid 41795 WIENS. His book, Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity (Basic Books), describes for the public his teams’ earlier space adventures.
spectroscopyImagingaerospaceMars roversCuriosity
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