Mission Elapsed Time
What is CRISM?
The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is 1 of 6 science experiments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which takes measurements of both the surface and the atmosphere of Mars.
CRISM data are used to find minerals’ spectral signatures on Mars. Different minerals form in different settings, ranging from ancient lakes and deltas to volcanic lava flows. We use the mineral evidence to understand how different geologic processes have shaped the planet over time. CRISM also observes the polar ice caps and atmosphere to understand seasonal and year-to-year variations in the Martian weather.
September 2, 2015
August 24, 2015
June 8, 2015
May 5, 2015
March 25, 2015
Read about the career paths that led members of the CRISM team into space exploration.
CRISM Spectral Library
The MRO CRISM Spectral Library is an analysis tool for interpreting CRISM data. it currently contains 2,260 spectral analyses of 1,134 Mars-analog samples, all measured under desiccating conditions so that materials that adsorb water look as they would on Mars. This was made avaialble to the community through the PDS on the day that MRO entered Mars orbit!
Hi-Res Image Map
What is a gimbal?
A gimbal is a mechanical system that allows the rotation around a single axis. CRISM has a gimbal that allows the instrument to pivot back and forth to track a particular location on the surface as the spacecraft flies over it. Remember, CRISM takes images that are roughly 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) long over about two minutes, as the MRO spacecraft travels at over 3 km/second at an altitude of 300 km! As MRO is overflying it target, the gimbal compensates for over 99% of MRO's along-track velocity.
MSL Site Selection
CRISM has been supporting landing site selection for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission with hundreds of observations that have been converted to color and mineral indicator maps. [ more ]
CRISM maps the surface Mars to find locations where there was persistent past water and to understand processes that helped to form Mars' crust.