Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Perseverance Landing Site on Mars

The Mars 2020 mission will land the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone on Mars on 18th February next year. The Perseverance rover will land in the Jezero crater. The crater is believed to have once been filled with water and to be now rich in clay deposits. One of the primary aims of the Mars 2020 mission is to find evidence of ancient life on Mars. The lake that once existed in the Jazero crater is believed to have lasted a very long time and it is therefore possible life may have once developed in the crater.

You can explore the Jazero crater and the landing site of the Perseverance rover for yourself on a new interactive map by the United Stated Geological Survey. The Geologic Map of Jezero Crater and the Nili Planum Region, Mars is a geologic map of the north-west area of the Isidis Planitia, a large plain inside a huge impact basin. The Jazero crater is located within this plain.

If you click on the book icon on the map you can select to view a number of layers overlaid on top of the geologic map. These include an ellipse which shows the landing site of the Perseverance rover inside the Jezero Crater. The rover is equipped with a 7 foot long five-jointed robotic arm. This arm will be used to collect and analyze geologic samples from the Martian surface. If you click on the map around the rover's landing site you can learn more about the geology of Mars that the rover will explore during its planned one Mars year mission.

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