enter image description here

I have been trying to figure out what this arrangement is for.

Could it be where the mast had its 'face' buried prior to deployment?

The various cups seem to fit exactly with lenses and positioning lugs on the masts face. If so the visible cutter must have severed a hold down cable.

Am I on the right track?

  • $\begingroup$ That looks like one of those pyrotechnic release mechanisms too (shown here from this answer) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 1, 2021 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ thanks for the title edit uhoh....after studying many pics of the mast face and that cup-like arrangement.it all fits together perfectly.....does anyone agree ? $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2021 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ First thing that came to mind: Geee, those are going to fill with water if it rains. Next thing that came to mind: This is Nasa, they surely have that one figured out. :-) $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2021 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


Lens covers and attachment/deployment infrastructure for the camera mast.

The mast hosts 2 round Navcams on the sides, two rectangular Mastcam-Z cameras, and one large Supercam with half-circle top "archway-like" border.

enter image description here

Compare: The image taken using the 3D model from NASA site, mirrored by me so that the correspondence is obvious.

enter image description here

During descent the mast was tucked in. It seems like one of the pyrotechnic cutters was used to ensure it would be released.

enter image description here

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket And what do you think happened to the heatshield, the parachute and the skycrane? $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket I mean, Alan Shepard's golf balls have been lying around on the moon for decades. Along with a bunch of other junk we left up there. So we have a long history of littering other celestial bodies... $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2021 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman When I quickly read your comment, I missed the word golf. Quite a different meaning... and a good chuckle. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2021 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ Apollo left whole cars in ditches on the Moon and IIRC even dumped their poo. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Mar 1, 2021 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael And you haven't even mentioned the nuclear waste yet. $\endgroup$
    – TooTea
    Mar 1, 2021 at 20:32

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