CRISM stands for Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars.
CRISM is part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, spacecraft.
MRO launched in August 2005 from Cape Canaveral, Florida and entered Mars' orbit in March 2006.
MRO's Primary Science Phase started in November 2006 and ended in November 2008. MRO is now in an extended mission.
CRISM is one of six science instruments on MRO.
CRISM was built and managed at the Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
CRISM is the Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory's first science instrument on a Mars mission.
CRISM uses colors in reflected sunlight to investigate the mineralogy of the Martian surface and the composition and processes of the Martian atmosphere.
In its high-resolution "targeted" operating mode, in less than 3 minutes CRISM can acquire a hyperspectral image covering 100-200 square kilometers. In its lower-resolution mapping or "survey" mode, it takes a long multispectral image strip every 3 minutes that covers about 60,000 square kilometers.
CRISM maps the surface Mars to find locations where there was persistent past water and to understand processes that helped to form Mars' crust.
CRISM data were essential in helping choose the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory mission (the Curiosity rover) and will help with the Mars 2020 Rover!
In June 2011, CRISM science and operations team members received two NASA Public Service Group Achievement Awards for an outstanding mission. At the same time, CRISM's PI received a NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.