Update on the Atmospheric Composition Measurements by Curiosity: Three (Earth) Years on Mars

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Melissa G Trainer1, Heather B. Franz2, Paul R Mahaffy3, Michael H Wong4, Sushil K Atreya5, Christopher McKay6, Pamela Gales Conrad3, Charles Malespin3, Jennifer L Eigenbrode3, Robert O Pepin7, Richard H Becker8, Tobias C Owen9, Heidi L Manning10, Timothy H McConnochie11, Javier Martín-Torres12, Maria-Paz Zorzano12 and Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez13, (1)NASA Goddard SFC, Silver Spring, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States, (5)University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (6)NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States, (7)Univ Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States, (8)University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, United States, (9)Univ Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, United States, (10)Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, United States, (11)University of Maryland College Park, Department of Astronomy, College Park, MD, United States, (12)Centro de Astrobiologia, Madrid, Spain, (13)Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on Curiosity has conducted a survey of major (CO2) and minor (Ar, N2, O2, CO) components of the Mars atmosphere over the course of one and a half martian years in Gale Crater. Here we present the details on the volume mixing ratios of these atmospheric species, which have been monitored as a function of season, temperature, and pressure, in conjunction with meteorological measurements conducted by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover environmental monitoring station (REMS). We will present data on the relative mixing ratio of CO2, and the computed partial pressure, which shows a distinct trend with season as a result of CO2 transported to and from the poles, coinciding with changes in local atmospheric pressure. We will also present data on the mixing ratios of the non-condensable species, which show relatively small seasonal changes at the near-equatorial site of Curiosity. Where relevant, comparisons to orbital and ground-based observations, as well as previous in situ measurements, will be discussed. Results from landing through the most recent measurements on Mars will be presented to demonstrate seasonal reproducibility.