Mars rover is the first in camera technology for understanding life on Mars

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Ever since the latest landing of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover in 2021, over 200,00 images have been captured on Mars. Playing a part in this investigation, ASU has partnered up with NASA to understand more about life on Mars.

ASU PhD Professor, Jim Bell, is the principal investigator for NASA’s Mastcam-Z cameras and is also in charge of interpreting the images captured.

The rover is equipped with 23 cameras of which two are Mastcam-Z cameras. The latter cameras are two of the largest and most capable cameras on the rover itself. With their ability to zoom in and out, and create three-dimensional stereo images, the Mastcam-Zs are a first for cameras on Mars.

“Our job is to help figure out what to take pictures of with the rest of the science team, which is 500 scientists around the world,” Bell said. “Then, [we] collect the images when they come down through NASA’s deep-space network.”

ASU PhD Professor, Jim Bell

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