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Researchers finally know where they are sending the new Mars Rover

ESAExoMars rover may not know its name but it certainly knows where it will touch when it reaches Mars in…


ExoMars rover may not know its name but it certainly knows where it will touch when it reaches Mars in 2020.

Oxia Planum, a flat plain rich in iron magnesium clay, is the first priority of the mission’s landing site after the fifth and final meeting of the Landing Location Selection Group (LSSWG) in Leicester, UK, reports the BBC.

Oxia Planum has long been discussed as a landing point of choice because it offers an exciting opportunity to search for signs of life due to its geological composition and height. The first meeting of the Expert Panel in 201

4 concluded that “shows fewer problems than any of the other places.” The ceramic surface suggests that water once flowed through the place – and where there is water there may be biosignatures that suggest that life once existed there. The location gives the mission the best chance to safely land the rover while allowing it to meet its scientific goals.

Another place, Mawrth Vallis, is still in violation of ExoMar’s landing site, but it seems that Oxia Planum will have fun as it provides a safer alternative with challenging topographic challenges or backs. Mawrth Vallis was one of the sites considered for NASA Curiosity Mission and their March 2020 mission, because, like Oxia Planum, it is rich in clay minerals.



The location of Oxia Planum (green) and Mawrth Vallis (blue top) on the Mars surface.

ESA / CartoDB

The final decision on where to land the rover will be determined approximately one year from the launch.

When the ExoMars rover rows down and rolls away its lander, its instrument kit will allow it to visualize and analyze Mars Earth. It will be able to drill up to a maximum of 2 meters in the field and contain spectrometers and analyzers targeted at biomarkers that allow researchers to understand the origin and development of life on Mars, if they would find it.

The ExoMars program, a collaboration between the Russian space agency Roscosmos and ESA, was established to learn more about the red planet, including searching for signs of life. It has two separate assignments. The first part took place in March 2016 and sent the Orbiter of the trace gas to Martens orbit and landed an experimental module, called Schiaparelli, on Marsjord. The latter was scheduled to land on Mars in October 2016, but a software weakening caused the module to crash land .

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