The Mars Rovers

Mars Exploration Rover of NASA

Instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers

Panoramic Camera

It is used for determining the mineralogy, texture, and structure of the local terrain.

Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer

It is used for identifying promising rocks and soils for closer examination and for determining the processes that formed Martian rocks. The instrument is designed to look skyward to provide temperature profiles of the Martian atmosphere

Mössbauer Spectrometer

It is used for close-up investigations of the mineralogy of iron-bearing rocks and soils.

Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer

It is used for close-up analysis of the abundances of elements that make up rocks and soils.


It is used for collecting magnetic dust particles. The Mössbauer Spectrometer and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer were designed to analyze the particles collected and help determine the ratio of magnetic particles to non-magnetic particles. They also analyze the composition of magnetic minerals in airborne dust and rocks that have been ground by the Rock Abrasion Tool

Microscopic Imager

It is used for obtaining close-up, high-resolution images of rocks and soils.

Rock Abrasion Tool

It is used for removing dusty and weathered rock surfaces and exposing fresh material for examination by instruments onboard.

IRC 2020 Winning Rover 'Kalman'

In Autonomous Configuration

thumbnail SchematKalman 1 1

In Science (Life-Searching) Configuration

thumbnail SchematKalman 2
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