American Laboratory, 1999, 20, 48-54

Electrochemistry on Mars

Steven J. West, Martin S. Frant, Xiaowen Wen, Ronald Geis, Janet Herdan, Timothy Gillette
Orion Research Inc, Beverly MA 01915
Michael H. Hecht, Wayne Schubert, Sabrina Grannan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109
Samuel P. Kounaves
Tufts University, Department of Chemistry, Medford, MA 02155 U.S.A.


The Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander is scheduled to carry the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) that is
being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology. This article describes the Wet
Chemistry Laboratory (WCL), which is a key component of the MECA. Through use of an array of electrochemical
sensors, the WCL is designed to determine the extent of the hazard that the Martian soil will present to human explorers and