San Diego Team Delivers Camera for Next Mars Rover

Two camera's for MSL (left) and principle investigator Michael Malin (rght) The Mastcam instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory will use a side-by side pair of cameras for examining terrain around the mission's rover. Right is a sample image from Mastcam 34 of Mastcam Principal Investigator Michael Malin. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
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April 06, 2010

Malin Space Science Systems Inc., San Diego, has delivered the two cameras for the Mast Camera instrument that will be the science-imaging workhorse of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, to be launched next year. The instrument, called Mastcam, has been tested and is ready for installation onto the rover, named Curiosity, which is being built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The two component cameras have different fixed focal lengths: 34 millimeters and 100 millimeters (telephoto) and can provide high-definition color video. NASA is also providing funds for Malin to build an alternative version with zoom lenses on both cameras, in collaboration with movie producer James Cameron, a member of the Mastcam team. If the zoom pair can be completed in time for rover assembly and testing, the fixed-focal-length pair could be swapped out for them. Malin has also delivered the Mars Hand Lens Imager and the Mars Descent Imager for the Mars Science Laboratory.

For more information, see Malin Space Science Systems news release:

Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.



34-millimeter focal length Mastcam

The 34-millimeter focal length camera shown here offers wider-angle viewing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
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100-millimeter focal length Mastcam

The second of the side-by-side pair of cameras on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory is a 100-millimeter focal length Mastcam that offers telephoto capability. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
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