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.
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.