NASA Picks Ancient Martian River Delta for 2020 Rover Touchdown


The existing Mars orbiters could still support two other Mars missions in 2020 which are NASA's Mars 2020 rover and ExoMars rover which is developed by the European Space Agency and Russian space agency. Scientists say the 28-mile-wide crater's rocks and soil may contain organic molecules and other traces of microbial life from the water and sediments that flowed into the crater billions of years ago.

On the NASA channel-stream from JPL procedures directly without video the landing, but with the audio of all commands and confirmations.

That's particularly important for because one of the rover's tasks is to collect samples destined for return to Earth on a mission to be named later, most likely in the early 2030s.

But Jezero came out a victor as it offers promising sampling targets of at least five kinds of rock, including clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life, as revealed by NASA in a press statement.

But first, the rover has to make it to the surface intact and upright, dodging a field of boulders, sand traps and the edges of the delta.

"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, project scientist for Mars 2020 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Mars is pretty cold today.

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

NASA reveals that it has chosen a site known as the Jezero Crater to be the landing area for Mars 2020.

Instead of having an analytical laboratory on board - like Curiosity has - Mars 2020 is created to look at rocks on a finer scale, seeing what bio signatures are preserved. The communication lag between Mars and Earth is eight minutes.

A similar discovery would mark a new era in the exploration of Mars, which started in 1965 when the USA launched its first mission to the red planet.

InSight stands to "revolutionise the way we think about the inside of the planet", said Nasa's science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen.

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