Science Instruments on NASA's Mars 2020 Rover
This 2015 diagram shows components of the investigations payload for NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission.

What are Science Instruments?

Science instruments are state-of-the-art tools for acquiring information about Martian geology, atmosphere, environmental conditions, and potential biosignatures.

Read news article: NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload to Explore the Red Planet as Never Before >>
*PI - principal investigator


PI: James Bell
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

An advanced camera system with panoramic and stereoscopic imaging capability with the ability to zoom. The instrument also will determine mineralogy of the Martian surface and assist with rover operations.

MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer)

PI: Jose Rodriguez-Manfredi
Centro de Astrobiologia, Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, Spain

A set of sensors that will provide measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity and dust size and shape.

MOXIE (Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment)

PI: Michael Hecht
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

An exploration technology investigation that will produce oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide.
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PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry)

PI: Abigail Allwood
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, USA

An X-ray fluorescence spectrometer that will also contain an imager with high resolution to determine the fine scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials. PIXL will provide capabilities that permit more detailed detection and analysis of chemical elements than ever before.
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RIMFAX (Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Exploration)

PI: Svein-Erik Hamran
Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt, Norway

A ground-penetrating radar that will provide centimeter-scale resolution of the geologic structure of the subsurface.
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SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals)

PI: Luther Beegle
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, USA

A spectrometer that will provide fine-scale imaging and uses an ultraviolet (UV) laser to determine fine-scale mineralogy and detect organic compounds. SHERLOC will be the first UV Raman spectrometer to fly to the surface of Mars and will provide complementary measurements with other instruments in the payload.
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PI: Roger Wiens
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA

An instrument that can provide imaging, chemical composition analysis, and mineralogy. The instrument will also be able to detect the presence of organic compounds in rocks and regolith from a distance. This instrument also has a significant contribution from the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales,Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (CNES/IRAP) France.
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