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Planetary RadioFebruary 21, 2018

The Eyes of a New Mars Rover: Mastcam-Z

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On This Episode
Headshot of Jim Bell
Jim Bell

President, Board of Directors of The Planetary Society; Mastcam-Z Principal Investigator; Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

Elsa Jensen
Elsa Jensen

Instrument Operations Manager at MSSS and Mastcam-Z Uplink Operations Lead, Malin Space Science Systems
Kjartan Kinch

Mastcam-Z Co-Investigator at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen

Melissa Rice
Melissa Rice

Mastcam-Z Co-Investigator and Assistant Professor of Geology at Western Washington University

Mat Kaplan attended a meeting of the science team for the zoom lens camera that will be atop the Mars 2020 rover mast. Planetary Scientist Jim Bell tells us how this new system will show us the Red Planet as we’ve never seen it before. Space is hard. Sample return is even harder, says Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla. Bruce Betts presents Mat Kaplan with a musical Random Space Fact in this week’s What’s Up segment.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a Planetary Society t-shirt and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

What two planets in our solar system have about the same surface gravity?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, February 21st at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What was the last launch of a successful wheeled vehicle, with success defined as driving on another world?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Time once again to play “Where in the Solar System?” Where in the solar system will you find Dingle Sinus?


Dingle Sinus is a bay on Saturn’s moon Titan.

Listen more: Mars 2020, Mastcam-Z, mission status, podcasts and videos, Planetary Radio, explaining technology, spacecraft, explaining science, Planetary Society People

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