For the first time in six years, a new mission is about to land on Mars.
The rover will collect rock and soil samples that will likely be retrieved by the future Mars missions and sent to Earth.
"Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionise how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for 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 USA space agency said in a statement. "A delta is extremely good at preserving bio-signatures-any evidence of life that might have existed in the lake water. or possibly things that lived in the headwaters region that were swept in by the river and deposited in the delta", project scientist Ken Farley tells the BBC. Here in Jezero Crater delta, sediments contain clays and carbonates.
The geologic diversity that makes Jezero so appealing to Mars 2020 scientists also makes it a challenge for the team's entry, descent and landing (EDL) engineers.
Along with the ancient river delta, the site is also surrounded with small impact craters, boulders and rocks, cliffs, and depressions filled with aeolian bedforms that can trap a rover.
There are various factors that NASA needed to consider while choosing an arrival site. It is a revised version of the rover Curiosity, which arrived on the Red Planet in 2012.Читайте также: Google Pixel 3 XL Running Android Q Appears On Geekbench
Jezero Crater's selection is still "dependent upon extensive analyses and verification testing" according to NASA, and a final report will be given to NASA HQ towards the end of 2019.
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 biosignatures are preserved.
Selecting a landing site this early allows the Rover drivers and science operations team to optimise their plans for exploring Jezero Crater once the Rover is safely on the ground.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CA - MAY 03: The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket is seen with NASA's InSight spacecraft onboard, Thursday, May 3, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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