David Blake’s favorite structure is:

First pXRD pattern from Mars


Source: NASA/JPL-CalTech/Ames


The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has been operating on Mars since Aug. 6, 2012. Curiosity carried with it the first spaceflight-qualified X-ray Diffractometer, a breadbbox-sized XRD called CheMin. CheMin returned the first XRD pattern from another planet in 2012, nearly coincident with the centennial of the discovery of X-ray diffraction by von Laue in 1912. The transmission-geometry 2D pattern, in the same geometry as those obtained by von Laue, provided the first quantitative mineralogy of the Mars surface (D.L. Bish et al., Science 341, 1238932 (2013)). A second CheMin analysis identified an ancient habitable environment on Mars (D.T. Vaniman et al., Science 343, 1243480 (2014)—David Blake

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