NASA chooses next Mars landing site set to ‘REVOLUTIONISE’ knowledge of planet

NASA officially announces landing site of Mars 2020 rover, and it’s incredibly interesting

NASA Picks Landing Spot for 2020 Mars Rover

"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", NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement.

The Jezero Crater is located on the western edge of a giant impact basin just north of the Martian equator.

The landing site of Jezero Crater is different because of its abundant carbonate rocks and what they can hopefully reveal about early habitability on Mars, NASA said.

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

The material carried into the delta from a large watershed may also contain a wide variety of minerals from inside and outside the crater, it added.

Named WALL-E and EVE after the main characters in the 2008 animated movie, the twin CubeSats will pass within a few thousand miles (kilometres) of Mars as the lander attempts its dicey touchdown.

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There are various factors that NASA needed to consider while choosing an arrival site. It'll also have experiments to test technologies that future astronauts will need, such as producing oxygen from Mars' thin carbon-dioxide atmosphere, and the equipment that's needed to extract and store samples for future missions to pick up.

This image of the Jezero Crater delta combines information from two instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Jezero Crater will be where NASA's yet-to-be-named rover will land on February 18, 2021, the space agency announced today. TRN will enable the "sky crane" descent stage, the rocket-powered system that carries the rover down to the surface, to avoid hazardous areas.

"Nothing has been more hard in robotic planetary exploration than landing on Mars", said Zurbuchen.

The evening of November 26 research center of NASA, "jet propulsion Laboratory" (JPL) will live-blog the process of landing on the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun Mars lander InSight.

Launched on May 5, Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander marks NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012.

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