The Tunable Laser Spectrometers (TLS) on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, permit measurements of methane, water and carbon dioxide abudances in the Martian atmosphere and evolved from heated soil samples.

At the heart of TLS on board Curiosity are the Cascade Semiconductor Lasers matched with IR detectors developed at VIGO Photonics. The methane and carbon dioxide measurements provided by the TLS instrument should provide the essential information needed to answer the question wheter Mars ever was an environment able to support microbial life.

For information about the methane discovery on Mars please visit: