NASA has announced the selection of science instruments for the Mars 2020 rover, a structural copy of the Curiosity rover to be launched in 2020. We at The Planetary Society are ecstatic to be an education and outreach partner on the selected Mastcam-Z mast camera system. Planetary Society President Jim Bell, in his other life as an Arizona State University professor, is the principal investigator for Mastcam-Z. Planetary Society Director of Science and Technology Bruce Betts is the E/PO (Education and Public Outreach) lead for Mastcam-Z. Planetary Society Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist Emily Lakdawalla is his deputy.
Mastcam-Z is a color stereo camera system. It has a zoom capability that we have never had on a Mars rover. It will produce stunning images from the surface of Mars, including in 3-D. It also includes a range of filters carefully selected for geologic studies. The zoom capability will help in the planning of drives for the rover.
Join us as we share the exciting story and results of Mastcam-Z.