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This image lies in the middle of a candidate landing site in the Northeast part of Syrtis Major, a huge shield volcano, and near the Northwest rim of Isidis Planitia, a giant impact basin.
01.20.2010

Candidate Landing Site in NE Syrtis Major

This image lies in the middle of a candidate landing site in the Northeast part of Syrtis Major, a huge shield volcano, and near the Northwest rim of Isidis Planitia, a giant impact basin.

This region exposes Early Noachian bedrock, more than 4 billion years old, and contains a diversity of hydrated minerals. This would be an excellent place to explore early Mars, when the environment may have been conducive to life.

HiRISE images will help determine if this spot is sufficiently safe for landing--not too many boulders or steep slopes. If it is safe, it may be considered for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory or the 2018 rovers from Europe and the United States.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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