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Space & Astronomy

NASA's next Mars rover will have 23 'eyes'

November 1, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

An artist's impression of what the Mars 2020 rover will look like. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Mars 2020 rover will be equipped with a wide assortment of cameras for surveying the Red Planet.
Back when Pathfinder touched down on the surface of Mars in 1997, the miniature Sojourner rover was equipped with a meager array of only three cameras while the lander itself only had two.

NASA's next rover on the other hand, a successor to Curiosity dubbed 'Mars 2020', will be carrying a whopping 23 cameras capable of photographing the Red Planet in more detail than ever before.

"Camera technology keeps improving," said NASA imaging scientist Justin Maki. "Each successive mission is able to utilize these improvements, with better performance and lower cost."
Among the cameras the rover will be taking to Mars will be a new and improved version of the Mastcam currently being used by the Curiosity rover.

Its enhanced stereoscopic capabilities will make it possible to capture more 3D images of the planet's surface and its high-definition zoom lenses will be able to spot points of interest over long distances.

"Routinely using 3-D images at high resolution could pay off in a big way," said Jim Bell of Arizona State University. "They're useful for both long-range and near-field science targets."

Source: | Comments (5)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lilly 5 years ago
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!
Comment icon #2 Posted by readerlurker 5 years ago
Why are we sending another one of these to Mars? Save the money and use it to update our ability to send an astronaut.
Comment icon #3 Posted by rashore 5 years ago
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.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
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. 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 recent... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
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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