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Next Mars Rover Will Have 23 'Eyes'


Waspie_Dwarf
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Next Mars Rover Will Have 23 'Eyes'

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When NASA's Mars Pathfinder touched down in 1997, it had five cameras: two on a mast that popped up from the lander, and three on NASA's first rover, Sojourner.

Since then, camera technology has taken a quantum leap. Photo sensors that were improved by the space program have become commercially ubiquitous. Cameras have shrunk in size, increased in quality and are now carried in every cellphone and laptop.

That same evolution has returned to space. NASA's Mars 2020 mission will have more "eyes" than any rover before it: a grand total of 23, to create sweeping panoramas, reveal obstacles, study the atmosphere, and assist science instruments.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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The small engineering company my son works at is making some of the parts for this rover. How cool to think my kid touched something that will go to Mars!

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

I don't know why, but I was really hoping for some creepy spider-eyed robot this time... but sigh, no, NASA has to be serious and practical as usual. It is a cool looking rover though.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
2 hours ago, readerlurker said:

Why are we sending another one of these to Mars?.

To search for signs of life. Previous missions have determined that the conditions once existed on Mars that could have supported life. Mars 2020 will look for signs of life itself.

2 hours ago, readerlurker said:

 Save the money and use it to update our ability to send an astronaut.

Are you seriously suggesting that NASA should sit around doing nothing until such time that the politicians finally give them the budget to send astronauts? There is so much wrong with this thinking that I'm not sure where to start.

Firstly a manned mission to Mars is probably at least a decade away (not withstanding SpaceX's highly optimistic claims). In case you missed the news the Trump administration has recently redirected NASA's efforts to returning to the Moon before sending astronauts to Mars. What are planetary scientists supposed to do in the meantime?

Secondly unmanned missions help develop the technology that will safely take astronauts to Mars.

Thirdly, the more that can be learnt before we send astronauts the better the scientists will be able to determine interesting locations to send them to. The more we know in advance the better the training and the more efficiently NASA will be able to use them in their limited and valuable time on the surface.

Lastly, the more unmanned missions we send the more we can learn about the potential dangers and the less likely NASA will be to kill the astronauts in the attempt, One of the reasons Apollo was so successful is because of the years of unmanned exploration with The Lunar Orbiters, Rangers and Surveyors which preceded it.

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We are eventually going to run out of resource no matter what we do from a conservation point.  Why not look for other places we can live and hopefully do a better job next time around.  The more place we are, the less likely the human race will go extinct.

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