Image: Concept illustration of Curiosity
NASA
An artist's concept illustrates the Mars rover Curiosity on the Red Planet. NASA said Friday a planned 3-D camera won't be aboard the flight, and that the current camera meets mission goals.
updated 3/25/2011 7:16:52 PM ET 2011-03-25T23:16:52

A high-resolution 3-D camera that "Avatar" director James Cameron was helping to build for NASA's next Mars rover won't fly after all.

NASA on Friday said work on the zoom camera was halted because there wasn't enough time to thoroughly test it before launch.

Cameron last year lobbied NASA to revive a plan to give rover Curiosity a better set of eyes and worked with engineers to build it.

Project scientist John Grotzinger said Curiosity's current camera is powerful enough to meet mission goals.

In a statement released by NASA, Cameron said he's confident future missions will benefit from the work he and others invested even if Curiosity won't.

The $2.5 billion Curiosity is scheduled to launch later this year and land on Mars in August 2012.

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