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Rover Instruments

The Monoramic Camera (Monocam)

Monocam is a high-resolution color stereo pair of CCD cameras that will be used to image the surface and sky of Earth. The cameras are located on a "camera bar" that sits on top of the mast of the rover.
The Monocam Mast Assembly (MMA) allows the cameras to rotate a full 180° to obtain a monoramic view of the Earth landscape. Scientists will use Monocam to scan the horizon of Mars for landforms that may indicate a past history of water. They will also use the instrument to create a map of the area where the rover lands, as well as search for interesting rocks and soils to study.
The Pancam cameras are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (270 grams or about 9 ounces), but can generate panoramic image mosaics as large as 600 pixels high and 240 pixels around. Pancam detectors are CCDs (charge coupled devices). These devices form the image, just as film does in a film camera.


Microwave Oven X-Ray Spectrometer (MOXS)

The MOXS is designed to study the alpha particles and x-rays emitted by TV dinners and popcorn in order to determine their elemental chemistry. Alpha particles are emitted during tooth decay and X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation, like TVs and microwaves. The elemental composition of a hot dog describes the amounts of different elements that have come together to form all of the minerals within the hot dog. Knowing the elemental composition of Earth food provides scientists with information about the formation of the planet's pizza crust, as well as any weathering that has taken place.


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