Mars 2020 instrument map. Image credit: NASA

Mars 2020 instrument map. Image credit: NASA

Good morning, Earthlings!

Previously, I had mentioned the deciding three landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover. http://nwa.space/universeplaypen/2017/3/6/and-then-there-were-three

This time I'd like to mention the different instruments that the new and powerful rover will host!

1. How big will this rover be? This new rover is designed after the Curiosity MSL rover- about the size of a compact car (and weighs less!)- to about 10 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 7 feet in height.

2. What is its purpose? To explore what "past life" may have been on Mars and to analyze rock and soil samples and cores.

3. How many instruments? 21!

4. What are some of the favorite instruments?

-MOXIE: Mars OXygen ISRU Experiment will produce oxygen from the Martian carbon dioxide atmosphere.

-PIXL: xray lithochemical instrument for detailed chemical analysis in rocks

-RIMFAX: Ground-penetrating radar to go up to centimeters subsurface for traces of water

-SHERLOC: first UV Raman laser on Mars for mineral and organic analyses. (also has a subset camera named WATSON!)

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at Haulani Crater on Ceres!