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Contributed by Eleni Ravanis
What is it like to work as a member of the science support team for the Mastcam-Z instrument? And how do we “see” Mars with Mastcam-Z? I’ve made a video about just that!
I’m a PhD student in the Earth Sciences department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and one of the Student Collaborators on the Mastcam-Z team. I made this video as an assignment in a graduate course and also as an entry in a graduate student video competition (I was happily one of 3 winners; you can watch the other, non-Mars related, winners here and here). In my video, I give an overview of the Mastcam-Z instrument and how the downlink science support team assists with the preliminary analysis of Mastcam-Z data. I use the example of a target known as Beavertail, which was also featured as one of our team favorites in April, 2021.
The video also discusses the longer-term goals of the Mars 2020 mission, and touches upon some of the research I am doing as part of my PhD. Along with my supervisor, Dr. Sarah Fagents, I am modeling ash dispersal on Mars to investigate the plausibility of sources for a potential ash deposit in and around Jezero crater. I hope to present this work at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in December on behalf of the Mastcam-Z and Mars 2020 science teams.