NASA announces Mars 2020 rover landing site

Nasa In Sight Mission’s live streaming at QNL on Monday

Nasa In Sight Mission’s live streaming at QNL on Monday

"Mars is really the obvious place, after the Moon, to go and expand our presence in deep space", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's science mission directorate.

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 U.S. space agency said in a statement.

NASA has chosen the landing site for its next rover mission to Mars: a treacherously rugged 3.6 billion-year-old crater.

"Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life", he added.

Choosing a landing site this early permits the rover drivers and science tasks group to upgrade their plans for investigating Jezero Crater once the rover is securely on the ground.

'Landing on Mars is hard.

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

Part of this is due to the thin Martian atmosphere, which is only 1% of Earth's, so there's nothing to slow down something trying to land on the surface. The mission aims to study the interior of Mars by drilling down and taking samples of the rock and soil deep beneath the surface. The primary mission is to help scientists better understand how Mars turned into a dry, barren planet.

The geologic diversity that makes Jezero Crater interesting to scientists also makes it a challenge for the rover's entry, descent and landing.

Jezero Crater is thought to be the site of an ancient river delta on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, a giant impact basin just north of the Martian equator.

"Because there are so many ancient rocks on the surface of Mars, this information is more accessible", said Meyer.

Before the launch of Mars 2020, another robot is scheduled to land on Mars on Monday: The robot InSight will then begin its two-year mission as a stationary probe.

The landing of InSight as it touches the Mars' atmosphere would only take about 6.5 minutes, which means that by the time NASA receives the signal that InSight has entered the planet's atmosphere, it would have already landed.

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