NASA published the first details about the new spacecraft, which will go to the Red Planet as part of the future mission “Mars-2020”.
The launch of the next mission of NASA for the exploration of Mars is scheduled for the summer of 2020. Within the framework of the mission, the Americans hope to continue studying the surface of the Red Planet and to find possible traces of the once inhabiting microorganisms. The geological processes on the planet will be investigated, as well as samples of rocks that may someday be delivered to Earth in the framework of the following Martian missions.
Of course, one of the main objectives of the mission “Mars-2020” will be the testing of technologies related to the landing on the Red Planet of people for subsequent colonization. The new rover is developed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and in many respects repeats Curiosity, however it will receive much more advanced equipment. For example, as many as 23 cameras with improved resolution and color reproduction compared to devices of the previous generation!
Thanks to this set of cameras, the rover can make three-dimensional and color pictures of excellent quality, and the dual Mastcam-Z stereo camera will now receive a variable focal length. She will photograph the surface of Mars, determine the mineralogical composition of the soil, and perform auxiliary operations. The so-called engineering cameras of the new device, which are used for navigation, first became colored.
Moreover, their resolution has grown from an insignificant one megapixel 20 times! The new cameras, which are essentially the “eyes” of the device, should help the rover to avoid collisions more effectively while moving over the surface of the Red Planet. True, this led to a new problem – a huge array of data that needs to be stored somewhere, but for this NASA uses MRO, MAVEN and TGO probes as retranslators for transmitting data to the Earth.