This is a brief introduction to the numerous scientific gadgets and mobile apps for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) a.k.a. the Mars Curiosity Rover. The information overload for just the mission alone may be overwhelming. Everybody is hoping that the MSL lands intact and fully operational. Even University of Michigan Engineering played a role in the landing of the MSL craft (link to their video here). Also associated with the MSL are Dr. Nilton Renno and his atmospheric study of Mars. You should be able to find all of this on the Engineering Department's web site: "A Laboratory on Mars".
Without intact scientific instruments and gadgets on board the MSL - the mission's scientific goals wouldn't be accomplished. To help achieve these goals teams of NASA and other science/engineering personnel conceived, designed and built the unique gadgets of this mobile laboratory. Dr. Ashwin Vasavada gives a brief and compelling portrait of these devices and their missions in the sidebar video. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) will, hopefully, find and measure any "long chain organic" molecules. These might give some indication of habitability for life then and now.
Perhaps second to SAM is the Chemical and Mineralogy (CheMin) suite of instruments. X-ray analysis via this suite should give our scientists precise information on the chemical elements present in complex formations. More elemental analysis can be done from a distance with the Chemical and Camera (ChemCam) package. The ChemCam should be able to analyze rocks and soils (via laser analysis) for their basic chemistries including hydrated minerals. Essential information on the abundance of present chemical elements should be provided by the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS).
If you are interested in keeping up to date with MSL you may do so via your mobile device. One way is to type in: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov. Like the headline suggests NASA has provided free apps for you called "Be a Martian".
For the Android app link to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nasa.jpl.beam. (The usual malware warning appears on the the Permissions tab, so please review.)
For your iTunes device: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nasa-be-a-martian/id543704769?ls=1&mt=8. (Price is not listed on main page.)
For Windows Phone: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/00eb41c4-97e3-df11-a844-00237de2db9e. (One comment refers to the Windows app as "kind of buggy".) We hope this served you as a brief introduction to the wonderful instruments and mobile apps for the Mars Curiosity Rover.