James Cameron lobbies NASA to include 3-D “eyes” on the next-generation Mars rover Pasadena Star-News

If the next generation rover is able to take high-resolution color movies in 3-D on Mars, it will be thanks to the reigning king of 3-D cinema himself, “Avatar” director James Cameron.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory scaled back its plans in 2007 to mount such a camera atop the rover Curiosity, set to launch in 2011, after that next flagship mission to Mars came in consistently over budget and behind schedule.
But Cameron lobbied hard for inclusion of a 3-D camera for the mission, taking his concerns directly to NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a one-on-one meeting in January.
Cameron, whose film “Avatar” has brought in more money worldwide than the $2.3 billion Mars mission, convinced Bolden that a rover with a better set of eyes would help the public connect with the mission.
“He actually was really open to the idea,” Cameron said. “Our first meeting went very well.”
It went so well that Cameron convinced NASA to buy a 3-D camera for Curiosity. It will sit on top of the rover’s mast – even though a mast camera, without 3-D capabilities, had already been built and was delivered to JPL this month.

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