[H]ardOCP: NASA Picks Landing Site for 2020 Mars Rover

NASA In Sight Landing

After a five-year search, NASA has picked the Jezero Crater as the landing site for the mission.

The US space agency's mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface is scheduled to launch in July 2020. A key objective of the new mission will be to find evidence of possible life on a young Mars: after it was revealed that in the past the planet had a mass of liquid water that it flowed a river flowing into the lake - it's time to examine themselves beds of ancient bodies of water and they collected sediment.

Knowing more about the ability for life to exist on Mars in the distant past could inform us about how life evolved on Earth.

At least five different kinds of rocks, including "clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life", are believed to lie in the crater, just north of the Martian equator, the United States space agency said in a statement. Utilizing information from NASA's armada of Mars orbiters, they will outline landscape in more noteworthy detail and distinguish districts of intrigue - places with the most fascinating geographical highlights, for instance - where Mars 2020 could gather the best science tests.

Mars InSight
NASA Picks Landing Spot for 2020 Mars Rover

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that the region could potentially carry "microbial life" and ancient molecules from billions of years ago. The space agency has chosen Jezero Crater delta for the rover's landing site.

The technology: The geologic diversity that makes Jezero such an appealing landing site also makes landing there a huge technical challenge for engineers.

The crater is made of numerous boulders and rocks to the east, cliffs to the west and depressions filled with aeolian bedforms, which are wind-derived ripples in sand that could trap a rover, in several locations, NASA explained. It is a revised version of the rover Curiosity, which arrived on the Red Planet in 2012. This allowed the science community to consider more challenging landing sites. TRN will enable the "sky crane" descent stage, the rocket-powered system that carries the rover down to the surface, to avoid hazardous areas. A final report will be presented to an independent review board and NASA Headquarters in the fall of 2019. The team will continue their work to study the TRN system and future risks.

If all goes well, the lander will spend the next two years digging into Mars and doing other experiments.

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