Sample Analysis at Mars

This schematic drawing shows a rectangular metal frame divided into four sections - two flatter ones on the left and two deeper ones on the right - stacked on top of each other. Within the sections are the various solid-state components and reaction chambers that will be used to conduct chemical analysis of rock and soil samples on Mars.
February 16, 2009
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The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite will weigh about 83 pounds (38 kilograms) and make up about half the science payload of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. It is a suite of three instruments that will search for carbon-based compounds associated with life.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech