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The Mars 2020 mission rover will have 23 cameras, compared to the Curiosity rover’s 17, the better to see the Red Planet and the next rover’s own landing. Today, NASA released a look into the rover’s “eyes.”

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Mars 2020 rover is being built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Its new engineering cameras (the ones used for planning routes and avoiding obstacles) will have a wider field of vision than those used on previous rovers, and be able to take color pictures while the rover is moving. The biggest problem, though, is that "Cameras are capable of acquiring much more data than can be sent back to Earth,” as JPL Deputy Principal Investigator for the Mastcam-Z camera Justin Maki said.

One of the engineering cameras that will be used by the Mars 2020 rover to avoid obstacles. It currently sports a prototype lens. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Because of that, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, and the European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter will all be used as relays for the Mars 2020 cameras.

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