A group watching motions of an engineering model of the camera mast for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on March 5, 2010, includes moviemaker James Cameron (right). Cameron is a member of the camera team for the mission. Others present in the In Situ Instrument Laboratory of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are, from left, JPL Director Charles Elachi; Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger; Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Pete Theisinger; and Michael Ravine of Malin Space Science Systems, the San Diego company providing the Mast Camera and two other science instruments for the mission.
The Mars Science Laboratory will land the Curiosity rover on Mars in August 2012. The Mast Camera will provide color, high-definition video, with 3-D capability. Using that camera and nine other science instruments, Curiosity will examine one of the most intriguing areas of Mars for a full Mars year, which is nearly two Earth years. It will study whether the region has had environmental conditions favorable for life and favorable for preserving evidence of life, if it existed.