Vermeil Medal 2017
It is attributed to the ChemCam team for the excellence of the measurements carried out over 4 years on Mars thanks to this instrument onboard the Rover Curiosity:
Launched on 26 November 2011, Curiosity was placed on the site of the Gale crater; 80 kg of onboard scientific equipment is shared between 10 instruments. One of these instruments, ChemCam (CHEMistry CAMera), the result of a joint development by the United States and France, analyzes the elementary composition of the rocks and soils of Mars.
The realization of the ChemCam instrument was enabled by long-term cooperation between CNES and NASA JPL. The outer part of the arm is made by the French side, the part integrated into the body of the rover being realized in the United States, with the JPL carrying out final integration. Planet Mars used to be “habitable”. Traces of the action of liquid water with PH 7 on rocks, oxidized or not, indicate a compatible medium according to the measurements obtained from ChemCam.
Astrophysicist, Planetologist at IRAP, CNRS/UT3 Paul Sabatier
Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory