For Scientists: Landing Site SelectionAt the end of the fourth landing site workshop in October 2018, the science community voted to select Jezero Crater as the landing site for the Mars 2020 mission. The Perseverance rover is set to land there on Feb. 18, 2021.
At Jezero Crater, Perseverance’s mission is to explore if Jezero was 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.
The Mars 2020 rover mission had detailed science criteria for evaluating potential landing sites through the various 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.
Summary of Landing Site Workshops
|First Landing Site Workshop||May 14-16, 2014||Initial rankings for about 30 candidate sites|
|Second Landing Site Workshop||Aug. 4-6, 2015||Top eight sites advanced|
|Third Landing Site Workshop||Feb. 8-10, 2017||Top three sites advanced|
|Fourth Landing Site Workshop||Oct. 16-18, 2019||Final recommendations made to NASA|