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Blogs

Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

Mastcam-Z team blog: We've got flight hardware!

Elsa Jensen • May 21, 2018

Right after the last Mastcam-Z team meeting a year ago (link here to last two blog posts), our team finalized the design of the cameras, and then the fantastic voyage of creating Martian panoramic zoom cameras began.

Book Excerpt: The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the radioisotope power system works

Emily Lakdawalla • May 14, 2018 • 4

Readers, colleagues, friends: it's finally happened. My first book is finally out in the world. Here's an excerpt that explains the design and operation of Curiosity's MMRTG, (it also applies to the future Mars 2020 rover power supply).

MarCO: CubeSats to Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2018 • 3

MarCO or Mars Cube One is an experimental mission that is sending two tiny spacecraft along with InSight to Mars. If successful, they will relay real-time telemetry from InSight to Earth during the landing.

‘SuperCam’ Update: Multi-purpose Instrument Coming Together for 2020 Launch to Mars

Roger Wiens • April 27, 2018 • 2

Excitement is building within the SuperCam team as the instrument enters the final stages of assembly and testing toward an anticipated launch aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover.

Space grade electronics: How NASA’s Juno survives near Jupiter

Jatan Mehta • April 17, 2018 • 2

Take a look at how electronics of spacecraft are built to survive the harshness of space environments.

Automating Science on Mars

Raymond Francis and Tara Estlin • March 13, 2018

Since 2016, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has had the ability to choose its own science targets using an onboard intelligent targeting system called AEGIS.

Maintaining the health of an aging Mars orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2018 • 2

NASA has announced changes to how engineers are operating Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in order to prolong its life as long as possible, long enough to support the Mars 2020 rover mission.

Engineering Qualification Model confirms performance of the Mastcam-Z!

Jim Bell • January 30, 2018 • 1

Just this past week, assembly of the Mastcam-Z EQM was completed, and we saw for the first time what one of our Mars zoom cameras would really look like.

Reconstructing the Viking '75 Mars lander Surface Sampler Collector

Tom Dahl • January 29, 2018 • 1

Viking enthusiast Tom Dahl has created an animation demonstrating the operation of the Viking lander's Surface Sampler Acquisition Assembly, or "scoop."

Mastcam-Z team blog: Preparing for five-hour operations

Elsa Jensen and Katherine Winchell • November 02, 2017

It takes hundreds of scientists and engineers many years to design and build just one instrument for a Mars mission. In the first Mastcam-Z team blog post, we'll talk about the special challenges we expect for Mars 2020 operations, and how we're planning to overcome them.

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