The launch of the Perseverance Mars rover was the tenth time that a Moxtek component has been launched into space flight. This rover, developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), includes seven important instruments intended to explore and seek evidence of past life on Mars. One of these instruments, the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), is a compact x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer mounted at the end of the rover’s robotic arm and is designed to provide accurate identification of the elemental composition of rock and soil on Mar’s surface. The PIXL system uses three Moxtek components including a miniature x-ray tube and two DuraBeryllium x-ray detector windows.
Moxtek’s x-ray tube and window enable the PIXL system to provide increased spatial resolution and improved measurement sensitivity. The PIXL system will analyse samples at each test site to determine the abundance and distribution of various chemical elements.