I spy signs of life

How It Works - - SPACE -

Let’s take a look at some of the cam­eras and tech­nol­ogy aboard Mars 2020


Two sets of colour nav­i­ga­tion cam­eras will aid the rover’s au­ton­o­mous nav­i­ga­tion. Cam­eras on the rover’s mast will see ob­jects as small as a golf ball from 25m away.


Po­si­tioned in­side the rover’s un­der­belly, Cachecam watches over the sam­ples col­lected from the Mar­tian sur­face.


This will fire laser pulses to ar­eas smaller than 1mm from a dis­tance of more than 7m away and in com­bi­na­tion with a cam­era and spec­trom­e­ters seek or­ganic com­pounds that could pro­vide ev­i­dence of past life on Mars.


This in­stru­ment iden­ti­fies chem­i­cal el­e­ments us­ing X-ray flu­o­res­cence. The mi­cro-con­text cam­era also pro­vides de­tailed images of the rock and soil tex­tures.


This pair of cam­eras can pro­duce colour images and video and 3D stereo images with a pow­er­ful zoom lens.


Six haz­ard-de­tec­tion cam­eras, four at the front and two at the rear of the rover, will eval­u­ate po­ten­tial haz­ards such as large rocks and dunes, en­abling the rover to nav­i­gate around them.


With the use of spec­trom­e­ters, a laser and cam­era lenses, SHERLOC and WAT­SON can de­tect or­gan­ics and min­er­als in the search for mi­cro­bial life.

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