Hello! My name is Alissa Mezzacappa and I live in Dover, DE, USA. I am a graduate student in optics aiding in interpretation of LIBS data. As a member of the ChemCam team I provide expertise on LIBS and also produce LIBS datasets in the laboratory that are relevant ChemCam data. When I’m not working on ChemCam I enjoy hiking, working out, reading, cooking, going to museums, and spending time with my family.
When I was 13 years old I was enamored with Sherlock Holmes. I wanted uncover mysteries with logic and science. I was definitely interested in outer space and enjoyed stargazing. Mars interests me because of the potential for finding habitable conditions for life. Finding evidence for the habitability of ancient Mars with MSL/ChemCam would excite me the most!
ChemCam is an outstanding instrument because of three novel capabilities in the world of rovers: 1) It can analyze a rock or soil target at a seven meter stand off (other instruments require contact), 2) it can analyze a target quickly. Where other instruments take hours, ChemCam takes a few minutes for a complete analysis, and 3) it can potentially identify any element. This makes ChemCam capable of identification of a very large set of targets.