The Chemist will analyse rocks and minerals to determine whether past or present environments could support life, i.e. presence of water, neutral pH, low salinity, and the absence of highly reactive chemicals such as perchlorates. Environments hostile to life include; extreme pH, high salinity, high CO2 levels and the presence of perchlorates. Watch an except from the BBC's Life on Mars.
Work with the Geologist and Astrobiologist. Use the data provided by Satellites (which is displayed as coloured overlays on the Map Control Screen) to select areas most likely to have been formed by sedimentary processes.
Once a target has been selected, the Rover is driven to the location by the Navigation Engineer.
The Wet Chemistry Lab (see Database) will analyse soil samples for:
organic (carbon-containing) compounds, such as ethane and methane
The Mass Spectrometer can detect very low concentrations in chemically complex mixtures, including:
The Alpha-Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is located on the end of the Robotic Arm, which is operated by the Robotics Engineer. The APXS provides an elemental analysis of rocks and minerals.
Compare your data with the Mission Control Database Library to identify your samples, and determine whether the type of environment in which they were formed was favorable for life.
Prepare an accurate SURVEY MAP and a REPORT.