The world’s such a lot far off island Sun-skimming probe starts calling home Space laser makes height maps of Earth Symbol copyright NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/MSSS/BROWN UNIVERSITY Image caption Jezero Crater displays sturdy proof from orbit of past water process
the brand new rover will be dropped into the close to equatorial Jezero Crater, which satellite tv for pc observations counsel once held a deep lake.
Scientists wish that if microbes lived in or around this body of water, signatures of their presence will likely be retained in sediments that may be simply drilled today.
A key aim might be the carbonate deposits that seem to line what could have been the palaeo-lake’s coastline.
“Carbonates are a kind of mineral that precipitates out of water and what is in point of fact nice about that procedure is that after they precipitate out – they trap everything that’s within the water. So, the whole thing that is residing there can also be trapped throughout the mineral,” explained Briony Horgan from Purdue College in Indiana.
Symbol copyright NASA Image caption the new rover follows the design template of the Interest robot which landed on Mars in 2012
The car shall be a close replica of the only-tonne Interest robot that Nasa landed in Gale Crater in 2012.
It Will use the similar “Skycrane” era that put the former system down with such nice precision – however with an important upload-on. Engineers have advanced an on-the-fly mapping gadget known as Terrain-Relative Navigation which ought to convey even larger accuracy to the landing process.
the expectancy is that the program will position the rover right up in opposition to rocks that record the delta that fed the lake with water.
Ken Farley, the mission’s leader scientist, advised the AGU meeting that the direction the rover will take after landing had already been deliberate.
The robot can be equipped with an advanced navigation machine if you want to supply it the autonomy to work out the most productive, most direct course between waypoints.
this should dramatically speed up the coming to different technological know-how targets. “In just right terrain we will be driving more than a 100m an afternoon,” Dr Farley instructed BBC News.
Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and observe me on Twitter: @BBCAmos