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The policy behind choosing a Mars 2020 landing site

Although Columbia Hills did bad at the former landing workshop, NASA's test tube control believed the potential to find biosignatures…

Although Columbia Hills did bad at the former landing workshop, NASA’s test tube control believed the potential to find biosignatures that deserve to be included in the final process. “We’ll hear over and over again, the vote is not binding,” said Steve Ruff, a professor at Arizona State University. “It simply goes into the process.”

Ruff was on the steering committee, and he began the conversation about Columbia Hills who included it in the final set of landings. He was sportably watched a “I (Heart) Columbia Hills” button throughout the week.

The region was named Gusev Crater – and the name of the crater has not changed. But Ruff says changing the landing’s name to Columbia Hills was a strategic rebrand. Since the Spirit already crossed Gusev Crater, scientists thought they would spend about $ 2 billion to return &#821

1; when so much of the planet is still unexplained – might not be good with a general hunger for new discovery. So last year, the site’s most keen followers – Ruff included – decided to call Gusev’s landing site with a different name – Columbia Hills, for the nearby mountains.

However, the new name has not yet captured the meeting, still using the two terms interchangeably. Many of the present believed that this name would be politically motivated – a trick for curry favoring a preferred place. For a researcher who has built his career studying a particular location, the desire to gather more data and digging further into the mysteries of this site is strong.

Despite the skepticism of many at the meeting, Ruff is still optimistic about the website’s chances in the final selection, and thought that his team’s presentations had swung some undecided voters. “We came in with a solid scientific case,” he said.

Ray Arvidsen, Professor of Planet Geology at Washington University in St. Petersburg. Louis, was one of the deputy main investigators on the Andean mission, but is reluctant to return. “Gusev seems to be incremental,” said Arvidsen. “The wider issue of learning about Mars is best served by another website.”

Intensive Discussion

To third parties, the entire workshop may have been antagonistic sometimes, but the participants did not “T see that.” The intense obvious discussion comes from a tension place, “said Tim Goudge, a postdoc at the University of Texas-Austin. “It is a sign of a healthy scientific community.”

All researchers interviewed for this story agreed that the process – regardless of the outcome – was important. After two and a half days of arguments cast workshops participants voted. The highest ranked option was a hybrid mission that will cross 28 kilometers between Jezero and Midway and collect samples in both places. While the Spirit only traveled 7.73 km, the opportunity made it over 45 km before NASA lost contact earlier this year. While both of these robots were sold-powered, March 2020 will, as curiosity, carry its own fuel in the form of radioactive plutonium and h extend its potential lifetime.

The Community and Scientific Committee’s recommendations will go up to NASA, which is expected to finalize a message at the landing site before the end of the year. The new mission could not be a better time for Mars researchers, with Opportunity incommunicado, because global dust storms hit Mars in June. Curiosity remains strong, but is already over 1500 days beyond its lifetime in 668 days.

“It is a great service for society to keep these workshops,” says Goudge. “But I’m not jealous of those who make that decision.”

When the roving lands on Mars in February 2021, all differences will be thrown aside and society will gather around the chosen place. “Almost everyone here thinks everyone is big,” says JR Skok, researcher at SETI Institute. “Wherever NASA picks, everyone will fall in line because they want to be a part of it.”

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