Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
The far reaches of the solar system and beyond
Take a look at distant worlds, far-out views of the cosmos, and even some remote possibilities with this week’s scoop on space news and solar system history.
Two colorful calibration targets will help scientists measure what the Perseverance rover sees on Mars.
Perseverance Rover Scientists Make Plans for Mars
As the launch of NASA's Perseverance rover approaches, scientists for the Mastcam-Z instrument prepare for the rover's science activities.
Visiting Perseverance During Its Final Week at JPL
An undergraduate physics research student describes her visit to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the Perseverance rover before it shipped to Florida for launch.
Here's How Scientists Mapped the Perseverance Rover's Landing Site
The maps will help plan scientific field trips for the rover as it explores an ancient river delta.
How to Send a Camera to Mars
The next Martian explorer, Mars 2020, currently exists as a robotic skeleton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Teams across the world are working diligently to construct the instruments that will adorn the rover, inside and out, and thereby give it the tools it needs to explore.
Practicing Mars 2020 rover operations, on Earth
Jeff Johnson files a report from ROASTT, the Rover Operations Activities for Science Team Training.
Mastcam-Z Flight Hardware!
After a more-than-four-year adventure, the flight Mars 2020 rover Mastcam-Z cameras have been fully assembled!
Mastcam-Z Team Blog: A Special Team Photomosaic
Mastcam-Z will help the Mars 2020 rover explore the surface of Mars. Dozens of amazing scientists and engineers from across the globe contribute to the development of Mastcam-Z. This year, the team photo was taken with our very own Mastcam-Z testbed unit.
Mastcam-Z team blog: We've got flight hardware!
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.
Engineering Qualification Model confirms performance of the Mastcam-Z!
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.
Mastcam-Z team blog: Landing sites
It takes years to decide where a Mars rover is going to land. Members of NASA's Mars 2020's camera team describe their participation in the process.
Mastcam-Z team blog: Preparing for five-hour operations
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.
Mars 2020 rover rolls into final design and fabrication phase
NASA's next Mars rover is rolling off the drawing board and into its final design and fabrication phase, the agency announced today, during a televised event at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that highlighted some of the mission's technology.
Listen Up! Microphones to Fly to Mars
The Mars 2020 mission will carry microphones in its EDL package and its SuperCam instrument, which will enable us to finally hear the sounds of Mars. The Planetary Society has been trying to get microphones to Mars for 20 years and is ecstatic that these will fly.
Mastcam-Z has passed its Preliminary Design Review!
A panel of outside experts reviewed the design of the Mars 2020 rover's color cameras, and approved the progress of Mastcam-Z. It still exists only as an idea in the cloud, but it's one significant step closer to being sent to Mars.
Mastcam-Z: The Future of Stereo Imaging on Mars
An introduction to the Mastcam-Z stereo imager on the Mars 2020 rover, and brief reporting and reflections on team meetings, science instruments, and the exciting future of The Planetary Society covering the entire lifetime of this instrument, from design to Mars images.
Planetary Society Selected as Mars 2020 Camera Partner
The Planetary Society has been selected as an education outreach partner on the just-selected NASA Mars 2020 Mastcam-Z instrument, led by Jim Bell, Planetary Society Board president and Arizona State University professor.