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TechnologyNASA selects a landing site for its Mars 2020 rover

20:24  19 november  2018
20:24  19 november  2018 Source:   engadget.com

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  Mars rover spotted from orbit after going silent NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted the still-silent Opportunity rover on the surface of the red planetIn an image released Tuesday, Opportunity shows up as a small dot-like feature in a high-resolution image captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing the rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley 166 miles below. Opportunity was slowly making its way down into the martian valley when the dust storm developed.

NASA has announced where its next Mars rover will be heading. The agency has chosen Jezero Crater from dozens of potential candidates in part for The Mars 2020 rover mission will not only look for habitable conditions, but will also collect rock and soil samples that may be able to be retrieved

Picking a Landing Site for NASA 's Mars 2020 Rover . After the rover stopped working in 2010, studies of its older data records showed evidence that past floods that may have Potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover could change as mission science and engineering considerations evolve.

NASA selects a landing site for its Mars 2020 rover

NASA has announced where its next Mars rover will be heading. The agency has chosen Jezero Crater from dozens of potential candidates in part for its potential to have preserved signs of past microbial life. "The landing site in Jezero Crater offers geologically rich terrain, with landforms reaching as far back as 3.6 billion years old, that could potentially answer important questions in planetary evolution and astrobiology," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement. "Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life."

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NASA has chosen Jezero Crater as the landing site for its upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission after a five year search, during which every available detail of more than 60 candidate locations on the Red Planet was scrutinized and debated by the mission team and the planetary science community.

NASA has chosen Jezero Crater as the landing site for its upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission after a five-year search, during which details of more than 60 Selecting a landing site this early allows the rover drivers and science operations team to optimize their plans for exploring Jezero Crater once the

The Mars 2020 rover mission will not only look for habitable conditions, but will also collect rock and soil samples that may be able to be retrieved sometime in the future. Both NASA and the European Space Agency are exploring ideas for a future retrieval mission that could bring the samples back to Earth for study.

The diversity offered by Jezero Crater makes it appealing scientifically, but it also makes for a difficult landing environment. And the region has been off limits in the past because of these challenges. However, recent advances in technology have now opened Jezero Crater up to a rover mission. "The Mars community has long coveted the scientific value of sites such as Jezero Crater, and a previous mission contemplated going there, but the challenges with safely landing were considered prohibitive," said Ken Farley, a project scientist for the mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "But what was once out of reach is now conceivable, thanks to the 2020 engineering team and advances in Mars entry, descent and landing technologies."

The site proposal still has to be assessed in order to make sure the mission is set up for success, and a final report on the plan will be presented to the agency next year. The rover mission is currently scheduled to launch in July of 2020.

NASA

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