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.
May 5, 2015
March 25, 2015
October 24, 2014
October 9, 2014
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 Mars' atmosphere like?
Mars has a very thin atmosphere made of about 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, about 0.1% each oxygen and carbon monoxide, and traces of water vapor. Like Earth, Mars has seasons and polar ice caps. Also like Earth, weather systems, clouds and dust storms form at different times of year. Unlike Earth, atmospheric pressure is so low that liquid water is not stable on the surface over more than half the planet - water formed by melting of ice would boil instantly!
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.