Take a guided ‘tour’ of SuperCam on new Mars rover

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Mars Technica is a new, limited-series podcast where experts talk about the science behind the Mars Perseverance mission.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Aug. 6, 2020—NASA’s new Perseverance rover, which just started its seven-month journey to Mars, carries on board what is likely the most versatile instrument ever created to understand the planet’s past habitability: SuperCam—and a new podcast will tell listeners all about it.

“SuperCam sits on the rover’s mast and has a laser that can zap rocks up to 25 feet away,” said Roger Wiens, who leads the SuperCam team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the instrument was developed. “It analyzes the chemistry and mineralogy of the rocks on Mars, which can tell us a lot about whether the planet could have once harbored life.” SuperCam also boasts a microphone, which will provide the first-ever recorded sounds from the surface of the Red Planet.

Podcast guests include Wiens and Patrick Gasda, another member of the SuperCam team.

This is the second episode of Mars Technica, a new seven-series podcast produced by Los Alamos National Laboratory, which delves into the Lab’s role on the Mars Perseverance mission.

Upcoming episodes explore topics including signatures of life, what secrets rock varnish might hold, and the unique battery that powers Perseverance. You can stream episodes via the Mars Technica website.

You will also be able to find and subscribe to Mars Technica on Apple Podcasts, with more platforms to come.

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