NASA | Curiosity Rover Shakes, Bakes, and Tastes Mars with SAM

Uploaded by NASAexplorer on 03.12.2012

[Silence, NASA Planetary Opening Animation]
[Silence, NASA Planetary Opening Animation]
[Silence, NASA Planetary Opening Animation fades]
[music, control room b-roll] Florence Tan: My name is Florence Tan.
I'm the SAM Electrical Lead Engineer, but now I'm working as the, uh,
SAM Payload Uplink Lead and the Payload Downlink Lead, supporting
uh, operations on Mars! SAM is an instrument on
the rover--Curiosity--it''s actually, I think
of it--SAM--as a nose. You know, it's like a very sensitive nose. It can sniff out
different Martian components. You know, air, as well as
soil samples to really really tease out the secrets
of Mars. The way SAM gets a sample is--first of all,
sifted by the rover. And then, we get a tiny
small amount--you know, a dollop--into one of our 74 cups, which is
actually in a carousel. And then, we take the sample, and it gets
put into an oven. When the oven gets heated up about a thousand degrees
--and it can go as high as 1100 degrees when we run the "hot oven"
option--and this is Celsius, you know, not your regular oven.
And then it goes--the gas that comes out gets flown into the
three instruments that analyze this day. SAM is
very similar to a very well-equipped lab
on Earth, except, you know, we're special. We're on Mars!
You know, this is something that I
didn't appreciate until I polled one of the scientists and asked him, you know,
when was the last time we did a quadrupole mass spectrometer on Mars?
And he was like, "Uh, maybe 35
years ago," and, you know, so this is--this is really special. We've never had
something like this. There's no comparison. SAM is working
just so marvellously--it is, you know
--it is beyond our dreams. This is marvelous. I just...
can't even tell you how great it is. It''s great! [fade out]
[music, beeping, Goddard End Tag]
[music, beeping fades, Goddard End Tag]
[music, Goddard End Tag fades]
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