"The landing site in Jezero Crater offers geologically rich terrain. that could potentially answer important questions in planetary evolution and astrobiology", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
But Jezero came out a victor as it offers promising sampling targets of at least five kinds of rock, including clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life, as revealed by NASA in a press statement. The two small companions carry test technology that, if all goes well, will relay signals from the lander straight back to Earth, bypassing the large Mars orbiters. "We're expecting a very plain day on Mars for the landing, and we're very happy about that".
Mars landing comes down to final 6 minutes of 6-month trip
The braking process of the vehicle, weighing 850 pounds (385 kg) in the Martian atmosphere will begin at a distance of about 125 km from the planet's surface, he said. The U.S.is the only country to have missions that have survived a Mars landing.
24 hours before the InSight's atmospheric entry, descent, and landing, the NASA team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will make their final correction maneuvers.
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The geologic diversity that makes Jezero Crater interesting to scientists also makes it a challenge for the rover's entry, descent and landing.
Jezero Crater is thought to be the site of an ancient river delta on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, a giant impact basin just north of the Martian equator.
After a five-year search NASA has chosen the Jezero Crater as the landing site for its Mars 2020 rover mission.
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"Because there are so many ancient rocks on the surface of Mars, this information is more accessible", said Meyer.
"The Mars 2020 engineering team has done a tremendous amount of work to prepare us for this decision".
Automatic interplanetary station Mars InSight on the payments reach the surface of Mars on Monday, 26 November, 15:00 East coast time USA.
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"InSight is going to Mars to study the deep interior of Mars to understand how the land is formed", Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator, told a press briefing on Wednesday.