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James Cameron's 3-D Mars Cam Nixed by NASA

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Many thought James Cameron was capable of anything, not least of all the director of Avatar himself. But the 3-D imaging technology that transformed Avatar's fairy tale plot into the can't-miss, eye-popping moving experience of 2009 could not be adapted quickly enough for a visit to Mars.

NASA put the brakes on the collaboration between Cameron and San Diego-based galactic camera builder Malin Space Science Systems this week, when it became clear that it could not be installed on the Mars rover Curiosity in time for its scheduled November 25 launch, according to SPACE.com. The mastcam, with zoom and 3-D capability would have made landfall on Mars atop Curiosity in August or September of 2012. Not to worry, these were "alternative" cameras, we will still have fresh images and video of the red planet. The mega-rover is undergoing final preparations at JPL in Pasadena.