NASA has created the Mars Perseverance rover to be sent to the Red Planet this summer. It is currently one of the most technologically advanced pieces of equipment the space agency has ever made and its eyes are no exception.
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NASA is now testing every aspect of its new rover before it sends it out to space and that includes its glassy eyes.
"Equipped with visionary science instruments, the Mars Perseverance rover underwent an "eye" exam after several cameras were installed. The rover contains an armada of imaging capabilities, from wide-angle landscape cameras to narrow-angle high-resolution zoom lens cameras," said NASA in a blog post.
These capabilities will allow the rover to navigate the Red Planet's tricky terrain but also to expertly study anything it comes across. In a blog post from last year. NASA described exactly what these cameras will do:
"Along with its laser and spectrometers, SuperCam's imager will examine Martian rocks and soil, seeking organic compounds that could be related to past life on Mars. The rover's two Mastcam-Z high-resolution cameras will work together as a multispectral, stereoscopic imaging instrument to enhance the Mars 2020 rover's driving and core-sampling capabilities. The Mastcam-Z cameras will also enable science team members to observe details in rocks and sediment at any location within the rover's field of view, helping them piece together the planet's geologic history."
JPL will be managing the operations of the Mars 2020 rover while NASA uses these missions to prepares for human exploration of the Red Planet. The agency has ambitious plans for Mars but with the current global health crisis, it's unsure if those plans will be reached in time. Luckily, for the time being, the mission is still on track for a summer launch. Good luck NASA!