Mass Spectrometry Projects

Huygens GCMS

Visit the Huygens GCMS project page.

The Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) is part of the Huygens probe in the Cassini-Huygens mission. The Cassini-Huygens mission consists of the Cassini spacecraft, which was built by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to orbit and study the planet Saturn, and the Huygens probe, which was built by the European Space Agency (ESA) to explore the atmosphere and surface of Saturn's largest known moon, Titan.

The Cassini-Huygens mission began on October 15, 1997, and the spacecraft entered Saturn's orbit in July 2004.

The GCMS was developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Atmospheric Experiments Laboratory to study the chemical composition, origin, and evolution of Titan's atmosphere.

Huygens INMS

The Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) is one of twelve instruments on the Cassini spacecraft. INMS measures positive ion and neutral species composition and structure in the upper atmosphere of Titan. The instrument also measures ion and neutral environments of Saturn's icy satellites and rings.

Learn more about INMS at the European Space Agency.

MESSENGER: Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS)

Visit the FIPS project page.

The Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) instrument on MESSENGER is part of the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS). FIPS measures particle count rates, energy distributions, velocity vector distributions, and mass spectra at a high time resolution (64s) and between 50 eV/e and 20 keV/e in energy.

The MESSENGER spacecraft was launched on August 3, 2004 aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MESSENGER will be the first spacecraft to visit planet Mercury since Mariner 10 in 1975. MESSENGER is currently

Rosetta: Rosina

The Rosetta orbiter is part of the International Rosetta Mission at the European Space Agency. The goal of the mission is to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in order to study the origin of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and its implications with regard to the origin of the Solar System.

Rosetta was launched in 2004 on its 10 year journey to the comet.

Learn more about the Rosetta orbiter.