Mars is a dusty place and some of that dust is highly magnetic. An examination of the particles that make the dust magnetic
can reveal clues about the planet's history.
The Danish Mars Project at the Ørsted Laboratory focuses on the magnetic properties of the surface dust and soil on Mars.
Magnetic targets will be mounted on the Mars Exploration Rovers to attract airborne dust, which will then be examined by the Mössbauer spectrometer and the Alpha-Particle-X-ray-spectrometer.
The RAT will also carry magnets. As it grinds into martian rocks, scientists will have the opportunity to study the properties of dust from these fresh surfaces.