back to article NASA reveals Curiosity 2020's 23-camera payload

NASA's revealed its Curiosity 2020 mission will pack 23 cameras. That's a half-dozen more the current Curiosity's 17 cameras, and way ahead of the Pathfinder mission's measly five (two on the lander and three on the Sojourner rover). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announcement explains what all these cameras are for. …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    That's not a rover camera pack

    THIS is a rover camera pack!

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    When will the name change?

    Curiosity 2021, ... Curiosity 202X ...

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: When will the name change?

      If the portents are correct:- 2027, 2028, 202X - with alien face recognition. Or a fuzzy keyboard.

      And reduced operational capabilities...

      1. dkjd

        Re: When will the name change?

        launch window to Mars is every 26 months, so 2027, 2029 203X would be more accurate. There will never be a 2028.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. ColonelClaw

      Re: When will the name change?

      I can't make up my mind between Curiosity One X and Curiosity Pro

    4. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

      Re: When will the name change?

      I still contend they should name it Curiosity 2: Nuclear Boogaloo

      For bonus points, it is launch/arrival date agnostic.

  3. ukgnome

    I thought the military team living on mars could just bolt on a new camera to the old rover.

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    I will just point at this collection ...

    if ever my missus complains I have too many cameras. Hey, I have just 2 regular DSLRs, one astro-modded one, and three different planetary CMOS cameras (one monochrome of solar H-alpha, one monochrome hi-res for solar Ca-K and white light, and lunar, and one colour for planets).

    I could also just count her shoes again

    1. Bob Wheeler

      Re: I will just point at this collection ...

      "I could also just count her shoes again"

      I can't count that high........

  5. kryptonaut


    “Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals”

    This must be checking for evidence of the FSM?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Noodliness

      No, I think you've misunderstood. The idea is that the scanner is looking for life. So what it does is to extrude some tasty, soupy, noodly goodness. Then warm it up with the laser, and see what aliens are attracted by the aroma.

      Basically this rover is the first interplanetary delivery service. I wonder why they didn't choose pizza?

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Noodliness

        It would have costed too much dough...

  6. DougS Silver badge

    But is there a selfie camera?

    Once corporate space missions begin, we can look forward to "Musk Rover 2030, sponsored by Samsung", to continue their event based marketing like paying celebrities to tweet a selfie with a Samsung phone at awards shows.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: But is there a selfie camera?

      There's lots of 'celebrities' I'd like to see tweeting selfies from Mars (after a one-way trip)

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: But is there a selfie camera?

      Yes: WATSON does that, I think (it can look at the Rover).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's needs a Dyson...

    They need to fit a Dyson vacuum (or should I say DirtDevil?) to the arm too to remove the dust from Curiosity's surfaces.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: It's needs a Dyson...

      Mars dust, similar to moon dust is highly charged and sticks like shit on a rug. Using a vacuum could make it worse and suck more dust onto the surface.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: It's needs a Dyson...

        Plus I’m not sure how well a vacuum cleaner would work in the near vacuum of Mars! A can of compressed air might be more useful. Or violently destructive.

  8. 0laf Silver badge

    I did think one of the cameras was noodle based for a moment

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: noodle based

      Is this mission being funded by pastafarians?

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    " video of a parachute opening on another planet" is not frivilous

    Testing a very large (and it will be very large) parachute opening in an atmosphere < 1/160 that of Earth SL pressure is virtually impossible.

    This could make a major contribution to better (smaller) parachute design

    And how far we've come.

    20Mpixel camera --> 450g.

  10. phuzz Silver badge

    I assume they'll be slightly upgrading the wheels from the ones on Curiosity.

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    20 megapixels?

    How fat a data pipe will they have to upload all those goodly pixels? Or will they just write to a load of 256GB cards and wait for someone to come and collect them?

  12. cray74

    23 cameras and yet...

    NASA will still have to explain how the rovers can take a selfie. Five years on and every NASA Facebook rover selfie post still has someone screaming, "Fake! It's from outside the rover and no one else is there!"

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: 23 cameras and yet...

      NASA will still have to explain how the rovers can take a selfie.

      Factoid: Every rover's AI is equipped to recognize a roman style helmet.*

      Upon spotting one, it politely asks, "Excuse me, Marvin the Martian, could you take my camera and snap a pic of me for the folks back home? Thank you sir."

      *This is also how it knows how to avoid taking picture of Martians.

      1. Chris 239

        Re: 23 cameras and yet...

        No, Marvin was not a Martian and he spent the 576,000,003,579 years from 2 M years ago until the end of the universe on Magrathea not Mars.

        Oh! you mean the Disney character? he's just a cartoon character, not real you know.

        1. IT Poser

          Re: 23 cameras and yet...

          Marvin the Martian was a Warner Bros creation. We know Marvin hasn't been assimilated yet because he hasn't been forced to give up his quest for galactic domination to become a talk show host.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge


    There's also a microphone. It's the 3rd attempt to capture sounds on Mars.

    It's actually supposed to hear the ZAP from the laser vaporizing samples, and they want to correlate the loudness of the zap to the amount vaporized.

    However, when it's not doing that, it'll still be on to hopefully capture wind, dust devils, footsteps, Martians talking, amanfrommars1 composing his posts, etc.

  14. Pedigree-Pete


    "Fire that laser one more time and I'll introduce you to the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator!" Marvin. :)PP


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