Thursday, July 21, 2011

Where Will the Next Mars Rover Land? NASA to Announce Crater Choice Friday

Mars Rover
NASA is set to announce the landing site for its next Mars rover Friday (July 22), and one thing's for certain: It will be a crater.

Earlier this month, the space agency revealed that its $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission will drop the car-size Curiosity rover down at either Gale Crater or Eberswalde Crater. Both Martian sites appear to preserve a record of ancient water activity. That's crucial, because Curiosity's main task is to assess whether Mars is, or ever was, capable of supporting microbial life.

So which crater has NASA picked? The space agency hasn't tipped its hand, saying publicly that both craters have a lot to offer and that choosing between them is tough.

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