Planetary Radio • Feb 21, 2018

The Eyes of a New Mars Rover: Mastcam-Z

On This Episode

Bell jim

Jim Bell

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

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Elsa Jensen

Instrument Operations Manager at MSSS and Mastcam-Z Uplink Operations Lead for Malin Space Science Systems

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Kjartan Kinch

Mastcam-Z Co-Investigator and an associate professor for Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen

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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.

Mars 2020 rover artist’s concept
Mars 2020 rover artist’s concept Artist's concept depicting NASA's Mars 2020 rover on the surface of Mars. NASA / JPL
Mastcam-Z camera units
Mastcam-Z camera units Models of the twin Mastcam-Z camera units and calibration target. Mat Kaplan
Jim Bell with other members of the Mastcam-Z Science Team
Jim Bell with other members of the Mastcam-Z Science Team Mastcam-Z Principal Investigator Jim Bell flanked by members of the Science Team. Mat Kaplan
Mastcam-Z Science Team meeting
Mastcam-Z Science Team meeting Meeting of the Mastcam-Z Science Team at Arizona State University. Mat Kaplan
Mastcam-Z Science Team meeting examining camera design
Mastcam-Z Science Team meeting examining camera design Mastcam-Z Science Team studies a computer-generated cutaway of the camera. Mat Kaplan
Kjartan Kinch and a Mars 2020 Rover calibration target mockup
Kjartan Kinch and a Mars 2020 Rover calibration target mockup Kjartan Kinch of the Niels Bohr Institute with a mockup of the Mars 2020 Rover calibration target. Mat Kaplan
Mastcam-Z Science Team portrait
Mastcam-Z Science Team portrait Members of the Mastcam-Z Science Team pose for a stereo portrait taken by a system that simulates the rover camera. Mat Kaplan
Mastcam-Z Science Team member and grad students
Mastcam-Z Science Team member and grad students Mastcam-Z Science Team member Melissa Rice with grad students Darian Dixon (l.) and Kathleen Hoza (r.) Mat Kaplan
Jim Bell with a Martian friend
Jim Bell with a Martian friend Jim Bell with a Martian friend (model of Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover at ASU). Mat Kaplan

Related Links:

This week's prizes are a Planetary Society t-shirt and a 200-point iTelescope.net 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 http://planetary.org/radiocontest 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?

Answer:

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?

Answer:

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