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These images taken by Mars Pathfinder are using digital imagery medium. Nickname IMP - total cost for development is around US$6 Million (around RM13 Million). The camera doesn't use film but creates digital snapshots, like the new digital / electronic cameras.

All images are from

N A S A
Click on the image on the Left
(128k Jpeg)

Motors and gears allow it to rotate in a complete circle and aim up and down to check the condition of the spacecraft, study the landscape and navigate for the Sojourner rover.



Each photo takes about 10 seconds to transmit to mission control. It captures many narrow pictures, which must be pieced together electronically on Earth. A black-and-white panorama required up to 120 frames; color pictures take three times as many. This process reminds me about how we did our QTVR scenes for the Stadiums for the World Youth FIFA/CocaCola Soccer Championship 97 in Malaysia.

A wealth of scientific information is gathered by putting special filters over IMP's lenses to block out certain kinds of light. A dozen geology filters are tuned to specific colors so they can pick up minerals that reflect light in a unique way. Other filters are used to see what makes up the atmosphere.

I attached a technical data note for the camera & lens for the Voyager's previous mission to space and let you compare the differences: (The full detail of the Voyager's mission in space can be accessed at:
http://www.msss.com/mars/observer/camera/papers/moc_ijist/moc_ijist.html Believe me, this site is so technical that it can actually can help you built one for your mission to the orbit...)

The MOC has three optical systems; the Narrow Angle (NA) system, which is a 35-cm (14 inch) diameter f/10 reflecting telescope with two redundant 2048-pixel CCD detectors, and two Wide Angle (WA) systems, one with a red filter and the other with a violet filter, which are "fisheye" lenses with 140-degree fields of view and 3456-pixel CCD detectors.

Another related article is how Hasselblad got involved with NASA project and the camera that first went to the moon.



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