2 items with the tag “clay

  • Taphonomy, Curiosity and Missions to Mars
    NAI 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Annual Report

    MIT team members are actively involved in both the continuing MER and new MSL missions to Mars. Team members are also collaborating on research designed to provide ground truth for remotely sensed clay mineral identifications on Mars, exploring, as well, the relationship between clay mineralogy and organic carbon preservation in sedimentary rocks. For example, our team has been exploring the use of reflectance spectroscopy, which is a rapid, non-destructive technique, for assessing the presence and abundance of organic materials preserved in ancient rocks. Sumner chairs the Gale Mapping Working Group, which is producing geomorphic and geologic maps of the landing area and lower slopes of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. This map is being used for long-term planning of science campaigns for Curiosity as well as to put observations into a regional context.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.1 4.1 4.2 6.1 7.1
  • Taphonomy, Curiosity and Missions to Mars
    NAI 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Annual Report

    Members of our team continue to be involved in both the MER and MSL missions on Mars. On the latter mission, team members have recently documented a long-lived, habitable environment in Gale Crater dominated by rivers and lakes. Research on the mineralogy and geochemistry of rocks at the base of Mt Sharp has improved our understanding of their complex diagenetic history. Progress has also been made in linking orbital observations with those made by the rovers; this has been advanced particularly by field research at Rio Tinto and detailed laboratory experiments that constrain the relationship between mineral combinations and their signatures in infrared reflectance spectroscopy—and their effect on our ability to detect organics.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.1 4.1 4.2 6.1 7.1