Canada is playing an integral role as part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the Curiosity Rover which will attempt landing on the Red planet early Monday morning at 1:31 a.m. EDT (10:31 p.m. PDT). On board the rover is an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) Canada contributed. The APXS determines the elemental chemistry of rocks and soils using alpha particles and X-rays.
Two of the Canadian scientists involved in the project are the Canadian Space Agency's Victoria Hipkin, Senior Program Scientist, Planetary Exploration, and Planetary Scientist Richard Lveill. Here are there thoughts.