Monday, April 03, 2017

Mapping ESA's Mission to Mars

The Russian space agency Roscosmos and the European Space Agency plan to search for life on Mars. The ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars) mission will land a rover on Mars to search for bio-signatures of Martian life. The two space agencies have now whittled down the possible landing site of the ExoMars 2020 rover to just two locations on Mars. The two remaining candidate landing sites have been chosen because in the planet's early history they both hosted an abundance of water.

You can explore the ExoMars landing sites for yourself on the ExoMars LSS interactive map. The map shows the location on Mars of the original four proposed landing sites. It now also highlights the remaining two candidate sites.

If you select any of the landing sites on the map you can read an explanation of the type of Martian terrain found at the selected location. You can also view a zoomed in aerial view of each landing site and the landing ellipses where the rover would land. The ExoMars LSS interactive map also provides an explanation of the elevation, latitude and geological constraints that effect the final choice of the ExoMars rover landing site.

The final decision on the landing site for the 2020 mission will not be be made until one year before launch.

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