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NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Will Have 23 'Eyes' To Provide Dramatic View Of Red Planet

2 November 2017, 12:08 pm EDT By Samriddhi Dastidar Tech Times
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Nasa building new rover for Mars 2020 mission

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover that is scheduled to land on the Red Planet in 2021 is reportedly going to have 23 cameras, which is six more than what Curiosity has.

23 Cameras On Mars 2020 Rover

The 23 cameras of the upcoming rover will be used to assist science instruments, engage in atmospheric studies, reveal obstacles, and create panoramic images. The “eyes” will also provide sharp views during the rover’s landing on the planet, in addition to being the first to take photos of a parachute as it opens on Mars, in fact on another world.

Furthermore, even the inside of the rover’s body will have a camera that will analyze samples as they are collected and left on the planet’s surface, which will be collected by a future mission.

The 23 cameras on the Mars 2020 rover represent progress since the Pathfinder, which had only five cameras. Incidentally, there were 10 cameras on both the Spirit and Opportunity including their landers and 17 cameras on Curiosity.

"Camera technology keeps improving," said JPL’s Justin Maki. "Each successive mission is able to utilize these improvements, with better performance and lower cost." 2020 rover’s cameras will have more 3-D imaging and color than those on Curiosity and have been designed to take high-resolution and 20-megapixel color photos.

The camera lenses will also have a wider range of view that is crucial to the 2020 mission because it will best utilize the time spent on collecting samples and doing science, as less time will be spent on panning, capturing photos, and stitching. Moreover, the cameras will also be able to lower blur, thereby being able to capture images even while the rover is moving.

Mars 2020 Mission

Due to be launched in July or August 2020, the Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to spend two years on the surface of Mars. However, the duration of the rover’s stay can be extended just like the stay of Opportunity and Curiosity were.

The mission will focus on searching for signs of long-lost Martian life as well as collecting interesting soil and rock samples, which will be brought back to Earth by a future mission. In addition, the rover will also be on the lookout for resources, like oxygen and water, that could make habitability on Mars easier for future human explorers.

All the goals of Mars 2020 mission will finally depend on the 23 cameras attached to the rover. The information collected by the rover will be relayed back to Earth using MAVEN, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter that will support the first two years of the mission.

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