The most powerful camera aboard a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars will soon be taking photo suggestions from the public.
Since arriving at Mars in 2006, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has recorded nearly 13,000 observations of the Red Planet's terrain. Each image covers dozens of square miles and reveal details as small as a desk. Now, anyone can nominate sites for pictures.
"The HiRISE team is pleased to give the public this opportunity to propose imaging targets and share the excitement of seeing your favorite spot on Mars at people-scale resolution," said Alfred McEwen, principal investigator for the camera and a researcher at the University of Arizona.
The idea to take suggestions from the public based on the original concept of the HiRISE instrument, when its planners nicknamed it "the people's camera." Scientists anticipate that more people will become interested in exploring the Red Planet as their suggestions for imaging targets increase the camera's already bountiful science return. Despite the thousands of pictures already taken, less than one percent of the Martian surface has been photographed.