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NASA announces 2020 Mars rover payload


Posted on Friday, 1 August, 2014 | Comment icon 15 comments

The new rover will be very much like the current Curiosity rover. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The successor to the Curiosity rover will be fitted with an array of sophisticated science instruments.
The new rover, which will be very similar to its predecessor but with upgraded hardware, has been designed to carry seven scientific instruments based on proposals put forward by researchers and engineers from around the world.

This time NASA will be equipping the vehicle with tools capable of directly searching for signs of extraterrestrial life, making a potentially monumental discovery on Mars a very real possibility.

"Today we take another important step on our journey to Mars," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "While getting to and landing on Mars is hard, Curiosity was an iconic example of how our robotic scientific explorers are paving the way for humans to pioneer Mars and beyond. Mars exploration will be this generationís legacy, and the Mars 2020 rover will be another critical step on humans' journey to the Red Planet."

The new instruments selected for inclusion on the rover will be:
  • An upgraded Mastcam cabable of panoramic and stereoscopic imaging.
  • A SuperCam that can detect organic compounds in rocks.
  • An X-ray fluorescence spectrometer to analyze chemical elements and surface materials.
  • A spectrometer that can determine fine-scale mineralogy and detect organic compounds.
  • An experiment to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide.
  • Sensors to measure temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure and relative humidity.
  • A ground-penetrating radar to provide high-res images of the subsurface geology.


Source: NASA.gov | Comments (15)

Tags: NASA, Mars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by MJNYC on 1 August, 2014, 14:29
this shows tremendous optimism on part of NASA and the U.S. Gov't that either of them will be around if and when any live outer space mission is planned, built, projected, paid for, and launched. And why ever wouldn't the United States be around?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 1 August, 2014, 14:33
And why ever wouldn't the United States be around? Let's not get too far off the topic shall we.
Comment icon #8 Posted by bobb73 on 1 August, 2014, 14:38
Take some beans and rice for the Cydonians
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin on 1 August, 2014, 17:36
Nice. Hope it lands safely and the new instruments will give us a greater understanding.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Aten on 1 August, 2014, 18:09
Hang on this is the same old story they said last time, newer better etc. The one thats there already is all you need according to the last lot of blurb they said. as for 'new instruments will give us a greater understanding' hmm i dont think so, its a rock!!! ooh lets drill a hole in another one, (the new drill will drill deeper of course), hey that one over there is all shiny..wooo ok lets move on now.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 1 August, 2014, 18:17
Hang on this is the same old story they said last time, newer better etc. The one thats there already is all you need according to the last lot of blurb they said. as for 'new instruments will give us a greater understanding' hmm i dont think so, its a rock!!! ooh lets drill a hole in another one, (the new drill will drill deeper of course), hey that one over there is all shiny..wooo ok lets move on now. Do you have any idea what you can learn from just one rock? The wealth of information that can be found in just one shiny rock? On another planet, no less.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Twin on 1 August, 2014, 18:33
Hopefully, the new camera will not have the well documented, random (?), multiple, blurred out areas that are found in current images.
Comment icon #13 Posted by shrooma on 1 August, 2014, 19:23
You clearly have absolutely no clue as to how long a lead time even an unmanned mission has. . of course i have Waspie, i isn't stoopid. . Space missions like this don't just use of the shelf equipment. (sic) . Ever component (sic) has to be individually manufactured and tested to ensure that they can survive the launch, the nine month flight, the landing and then operate in the harsh Martian conditions for years. All this takes time. . (hello?! Engineer....) . NASA now has a spacecraft that will be capable of a flight to Mars, the Orion, but this has not had even an unmanned flight yet, it ce... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by qxcontinuum on 1 August, 2014, 21:48
Oh God , please not again ....
Comment icon #15 Posted by seeder on 4 August, 2014, 11:55
From the OP article "and demonstrate technology to process carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to produce oxygen. These experiments will help engineers learn how to use Martian resources to produce oxygen for human respiration and potentially as an oxidizer for rocket fuel. That will be very interesting if the experiments work


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