Monday, August 02, 2010

UA camera selected for new Mars mission

The UA-operated High Resolution Stereo Color Imager, or HiSCI, has been selected by NASA and the European Space Agency as one of the instruments to be carried by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, scheduled to launch in 2016. An announcement by UA says it "will study the chemical makeup of the Martian atmosphere with a 1,000-fold increase in sensitivity over previous Mars orbiters."

[right, "the UA’s High Resolution Stereo Color Imager, or HiSCI, features an innovative rotation drive for three-dimensional imaging. As the instrument orbits the Red Planet, it snaps pictures once a feature of interest on the surface below comes into view. HiSCI then swings around and takes more pictures of the feature as it passes overhead." Credit, UA]

HiSCI will be operated by the same team at the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab that has been acquiring images from Mars using the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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