Wednesday 19 December 2018
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iol - 29 days ago

Ancient Mars crater chosen as landing site for 2020 space rover

New York - US space agency NASA has found a suitable landing site for its Mars 2020 rover mission, which is scheduled to launch in July 2020. NASA has chosen Jezero Crater as the landing site for its upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission after a five year search, the space agency said late Monday. The 45-kilometre-wide crater has a geologically rich terrain that is perfect for analysing the planet s surface as well as investigating signs of ancient habitable conditions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said. Scientists suspect the Mars 2020 rover may be able to detect signs of microbial life, as the landforms within the crater are estimated to be around 3.6 billion years old and were likely once part of a lake-delta system. Mars 2020 will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It is a revised version of the rover Curiosity, which arrived on the Red Planet in 2012. 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. dpa

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