IH&S Semrock Filters Used on NASA’s New Mars Rover

Company News

July 9, 2020

Optical filter technologies from IDEX Health & Science are on NASA’s new Perseverance rover that will try to definitively answer whether life ever existed on Mars.

Partnering with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), IDEX Health & Science (IH&S) developed filters for the SHERLOC instrument, which will enable the rover to identify, collect and store rock and soil samples from Mars.

NASA’s Mars 2020 team aims to launch the rover between July 20 and August 11, 2020, with the earliest launch date landing on July 30.  The mission needs to be launched by then, or its next launch window to travel to Mars will not come until 2022.

The SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) instrument is an arm-mounted, Deep UV (DUV) fluorescent spectrometer, which enables the rover to spatially resolve, and detect the characterization of organics and minerals in the Martian surface. The instrument is used to assess past aqueous history, detect the presence and preservation of potential biosignatures, and to support selection of return samples.

Mars 2020 will collect and store rock and soil samples in sterilized tubes to be sent back to Earth for analysis. The rover will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, and pave the way for human exploration.

If the NASA JPL team launches the Rover before August 11, 2020, The Perseverance is scheduled to land on Mars in February 2021.

To watch a short video and learn more about the 2020 rover, click here
To watch a recent “60 Minutes” segment on the Mars Rover, click here
To ‘take a virtual tour of Mars’ using images taken of the Red Planet by its Curiosity Rover, click here