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Artists Concept of Curiosity  (Source: NASA)
Cameron convinced NASA not to cut the 3D camera from the rover design

2010 is the year of 3D entertainment by all accounts. 3D TVs and Blu-ray players are coming to the marketplace and the consumer market is starting to embrace 3D in the home. 3D films are also hitting theaters in increasing numbers, raising the profile of 3D technology even further.

The biggest film to ever hit 3D and the most successful movie at the box office ever was James Cameron's
Avatar. Avatar broke box office records around the world and the sales of the film on Blu-ray are breaking home entertainment records as well. James Cameron's name is synonymous with 3D today thanks to the success of the Avatar film.

Cameron has now teamed up with NASA to help design a 3D camera that will be placed aboard the next Mars rover dubbed Curiosity. Curiosity is currently slated to launch towards Mars in 2011. Plans for a 3D camera aboard the rover were reportedly scrapped due to budget concerns earlier in the project.

CNET News reports that Cameron stepped in and convinced NASA to include the 3D camera on the rover. CBS News reports that Cameron explained to NASA administrators that a rover with a 3D camera would help people connect with the mission.

The new 3D camera is now being built by Malin Space Science Systems and lists Cameron as a co-investigator in the project. The Curiosity rover has the official name Mars Science Laboratory and it is being sent to Mars to study whether or not the planet has or could support microbial life.

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helps DESIGN the camera?!?
By RandomUsername3463 on 4/30/2010 11:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
Somehow I don't think James Cameron has the optics / eletronics engineering degrees necessary to design cameras. I'd say the subtitle of this article makes way more sense: "Cameron convinced NASA not to cut the 3D camera from the rover design"

By therealnickdanger on 4/30/2010 11:22:56 AM , Rating: 3
Cameron has now teamed up with NASA to help design a 3D camera that will be placed aboard the next Mars rover dubbed Curiosity

Also, Cameron has a history of designing and developing cameras for withstanding extremes. IIRC, he also helped design high-quality optics for deep water filming. If not for his money and influence, the 3-D Fusion camera system would probably never gained traction. The guy knows how to get stuff done.

RE: helps DESIGN the camera?!?
By 91TTZ on 4/30/2010 4:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need degrees to design cameras, you only need experience. I don't think he has that either, though.

RE: helps DESIGN the camera?!?
By 91TTZ on 4/30/2010 4:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
I see that another article gives the details:

Cameron is working with San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems to build the 3D camera, which will be installed on a mast aboard Curiosity.

Malin Science Systems will be the ones building the camera. Cameron will only be giving them some input.

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