Cameron helping build 3-D camera for Mars rover

April 29, 2010

(AP) -- "Avatar" director James Cameron is helping to build a high-resolution 3-D camera on the next-generation Mars rover.

The will be mounted atop Curiosity, the next rover mission to Mars set for launch next year.

Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory scaled back its plans in 2007 to mount a 3-D camera atop Curiosity because the upcoming flagship mission to Mars was consistently over budget and behind schedule.

But Cameron lobbied administrator Charles Bolden for inclusion of the 3-D camera during a January meeting, saying a rover with a better set of eyes will help the public connect with the mission.

Bolden was convinced.

San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems is now building the 3-D mast camera with Cameron listed as co-investigator.

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