Artistic vision of the rover Mars 2020, working on the Red Planet
NASA's next Martian spacecraft will soon learn about the landing site, because scientists are going to discuss the relative merits and benefits of the four final applicants. The main goal of the mission is to determine whether life has ever been on the planet.
The meeting of scientists will be held in California and will bring together hundreds of people to draw up a final recommendation from NASA for choosing a landing site for Mars 2020.
Four landing sites that are currently being considered for the NASA Mars 2020 rover
The importance lies in the fact that Mars 2020 should be the first part of the mission with a request for the receipt and delivery of the sample, although the mission has not yet been formalized. Among the tasks of the rover will be collecting soil samples so that scientists can study it for the first time in terrestrial laboratories. Scientists need to choose a place that optimizes the mission. It is necessary to take into account the absence of danger for the rover and open access to places of interest to science. The researchers narrowed the list to four locations: Columbia Hills, Jezero Crater, Northeast Sirt and Midway. At the three-day seminar, participants will discuss the attractiveness of the location.
NASA plans to announce a final decision by the end of 2018. The team of Mars 2020 has enough time to complete the planning of the mission, which should reach the neighboring planet in February 2021.