Landing Site Selection

At the end of the fourth landing site workshop in October 2018, the science community voted to select Jezero Crater as Mars 2020's final landing site.

The Mars 2020 rover mission detailed science criteria for evaluating potential landing sites through several landing site selection workshops. These considered specific engineering constraints, possible enhanced entry, descent and landing (EDL) capabilities, planetary protection guidelines, and information needed to define a landing site for the workshop and subsequent imaging.

At Jezero Crater, the rover will explore a site likely to have been habitable, seek signs of past life, fill a returnable cache with the most compelling samples, take the first steps towards in situ resource utilization on Mars, and demonstrate technology needed for the future human and robotic exploration of Mars.

Landing Sites Under Consideration for the Mars 2020 Rover
Several places on Mars were under consideration as potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover mission. The science community voted in October 2018 to send the rover to Jezero Crater, an ancient crater lake.
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Landing site workshops included:

  • October 16-18, 2018: Selection of the final landing site.
  • February 8-10, 2017: Further evaluation of the eight candidate landing sites remaining under consideration to arrive at three or four candidates for the final landing site workshop.
  • August 4-6, 2015: Evaluation of the ~30 candidate landing sites that emerged from the first workshop.
  • May 14-16, 2014: Kick off of potential landing sites to ~30.