Visit the USGS Home Page Go to the Astrogeology Research Program Home Page USGS Astrogeology Research Program

Landing Sites Chosen for Mars Rovers

Friday, April 11, 2003

NASA has chosen two scientifically compelling landing sites for twin robotic rovers to explore on the surface of Mars early next year. The two sites are a giant crater that appears to have once held a lake, and a broad outcropping of a mineral that usually forms in the presence of liquid water. Each Mars Exploration Rover (MER) will examine its landing site for geological evidence of past liquid water activity and past environmental conditions hospitable to life. The first rover, scheduled for launch May 30, will be targeted to land at Gusev Crater, 15 degrees south of Mars' equator. The second, scheduled to launch June 25, will be targeted to land at Meridiani Planum, an area with deposits of an iron oxide mineral (gray hematite) about two degrees south of the equator and halfway around the planet from Gusev.

More: NASA - NASA Rovers Slated To Examine Two Intriging Sites On Mars

Link: USGS Astro - Mars Exploration Rover Project

Link: USGS Astro - Mars Pathfinder and 2003 Rover Missions