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The Surface Stereo Imager captures the same scene with three different filters. The images are sent to Earth in black and white and the color is added by mission scientists.
By contrast, consumer digital cameras and cell phones have filters built in and do all of the color processing within the camera itself.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona