San Diego Team Delivers Camera for Next Mars Rover

Apr 07, 2010
The Mastcam instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory will use a side-by side pair of cameras for examining terrain around the mission's rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

(PhysOrg.com) -- Malin Space Science Systems Inc., San Diego, has delivered the two cameras for the Mast Camera instrument that will be the science-imaging workhorse of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, to be launched next year.

The instrument, called Mastcam, has been tested and is ready for installation onto the rover, named Curiosity, which is being built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The two component cameras have different fixed focal lengths: 34 millimeters and 100 millimeters (telephoto) and can provide high-definition color video. is also providing funds for Malin to build an alternative version with zoom lenses on both cameras, in collaboration with movie producer James Cameron, a member of the Mastcam team.

If the zoom pair can be completed in time for rover assembly and testing, the fixed-focal-length pair could be swapped out for them. Malin has also delivered the Hand Lens Imager and the Mars Descent Imager for the Mars Science Laboratory.

Explore further: Dawn spacecraft captures best-ever view of dwarf planet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mars Orbiting Cameras Debut

Apr 13, 2006

Researchers today released the first Mars images from two of the three science cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Images taken by the orbiter's Context Camera and Mars Color Imager during the first ...

NASA Selects Investigations for the Mars Science Laboratory

Dec 15, 2004

NASA has selected eight proposals to provide instrumentation and associated science investigations for the mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, scheduled for launch in 2009. Proposals selected today were submitted ...

Rocky Mesas of Nilosyrtis Mensae, Mars

May 06, 2008

Mesas in the Nilosyrtis Mensae region of Mars appear in enhanced color in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

Mars Rover Laser Tool Ready for Testing

Jun 22, 2007

Mars mission Job One: Get there. Job Two: Find rocks and zap them with your laser tool. Now learn the nature of the debris by spectrographically analyzing the ensuing dust and fragments. It’s every kid’s ...

ASU Scientists Part of 'Next Step' in Mars Exploration

Dec 23, 2004

Though two rovers are still running on Mars, NASA is already planning a return and once again a number of Arizona State University scientists are lined up to play key roles. The mission is called the Mars Science Laboratory (MS ...

Recommended for you

Dawn spacecraft captures best-ever view of dwarf planet

1 hour ago

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for ...

Image: Striking lightning from space

5 hours ago

Lightning illuminates the area it strikes on Earth but the flash can be seen from space, too. This image was taken from 400 km above Earth in 2012 by an astronaut on the International Space Station travelling ...

Are asteroids the future of planetary science?

5 hours ago

I don't think I ever learned one of those little rhymes – My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas – to memorize the order of the planets, but if I had, it would've painted for me a minimalist ...

Earth's moon may not be critical to life

7 hours ago

The Moon has long been viewed as a crucial component in creating an environment suitable for the evolution of complex life on Earth, but a number of scientific results in recent years have shown that perhaps our ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.