NASA plans to incorporate a total of 23 cameras into the Mars 2020 Rover system designed to investigate the red planet’s atmosphere and support science instruments as part of the exploration mission.
The space agency said Wednesday the Mars 2020 Rover being built at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California will feature nine engineering cameras, seven science cameras and another seven cameras for entry, descent and landing operations.
Mastcam-Z is one of the science cameras that NASA plans to integrate into Mars 2020 and is designed to collect 3D images of the planet’s geologic qualities.
“Routinely using 3D images at high resolution could pay off in a big way,” said Jim Bell, principal investigator from Arizona State University for the rover’s Mastcam-Z camera.
“They’re useful for both long-range and near-field science targets,” Bell added.
The agency has updated Navcam and Hazcam engineering cameras that will work to help the rover gather color images with a resolution of 20 megapixels.
NASA also plans to use the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter, Maven and other orbiting spacecraft as data relays for the rover during the mission’s first two years.