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Mars 2020 Mastcam-Z Partnership

The Planetary Society is an education and outreach partner for the Mastcam-Z instrument on NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which launches in mid-2020 and lands on Mars in February 2021. Planetary Society President Jim Bell is the Mastcam-Z instrument's principal investigator. Planetary Society director of science and Technology Bruce Betts is the EPO lead, with solar system specialist Emily Lakdawalla serving as the deputy.

Mastcam-Z is a color stereo camera system with a zoom capability never included on a Mars rover. It will produce stunning, 3-D images from the surface, and includes a range of filters carefully selected for geologic studies. The zoom capability will help in the planning of drives for the rover.

Recent stories from the Mastcam-Z team

How to Send a Camera to Mars

Tina Seeger • June 04, 2019

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

Jeffrey R. Johnson • February 25, 2019

Jeff Johnson files a report from ROASTT, the Rover Operations Activities for Science Team Training.

Mastcam-Z Flight Hardware!

Jim Bell • December 12, 2018

After a more-than-four-year adventure, the flight Mars 2020 rover Mastcam-Z cameras have been fully assembled!

More stories from the team

Additional resources

For inquiries related to The Planetary Society's participation in Mastcam-Z, please contact press@planetary.org.