NASA’s 2020 Mars Rover Will Have 23 Cameras

New Mars Rover will include twenty-three cameras

The space agency’s next robotic Mars explorer, set to launch in 2020, will support not one, not two, but a total of 23 eyes with which to take in the martian landscape.

When it lands on Mars in November of 2018NASA’s InSight lander will be carrying several science instruments along with hundreds of thousands of names from members of the public. Put your name on Mars throught this link.

The new Mars rover, which is currently being built by the geniuses at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, will be able to see Mars in a whole new way, and will deliver even more stunning photographs from the planet’s surface than we’ve ever seen before.

Read also How long is a year on Mars.

These cameras will create stunning panoramas, uncover obstacles, study the atmosphere and assist other scientific instruments onboard. For the first time, these cameras will also capture images of a parachute as it opens on another planet.

Some of the Mars 2020 cameras will include:

  • Enhanced Engineering Cameras: These cameras will have colour, higher resolution and wider field of views than Curiosity.
  • Mastcam-Z: This will be an amplified version of Curiosity’s Mastcam with a 3:1 zoom lens.
  • SuperCam Remote Micro-Imager (RMI): Different to Curiosity’s ChemCam, this will be the highest-resolution remote imager and will have colour.
  • CacheCam: This will be used to observe rock samples as the rover collects them.
  • Entry, descent and landing cameras: Six cameras will document the entry, descent and landing on the Martian surface, including the first video of a parachute opening on another planet.
  • Lander Vision System Camera: With the use of computer vision and a new technology called terrain relative navigation, this camera will guide the landing.
  • SkyCam: This camera will study the clouds and the atmosphere using a suite of weather instruments facing the sky.

The cameras on 2020 will have superior colour and 3D imaging than the Curiosity rover, which currently has seventeen cameras. The rover’s main eyes, the Mastcam-Z, will be a vast improvement on Curiosity’s Mastcam. The stands Zoom, which is an aspect that will be added to the improved version of Curiosity’s Mastcam.

NASA hopes to launch the mission in 2018 with arrival at Mars scheduled for late summer 2020. At that point, Curiosity will have been wandering the surface for eight years.

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