Wispy pink dunes are shown in this image of Mars.

March 4, 2015

It's not only when trying to find a scientifically interesting place to land that the high-resolution images from HiRISE come in handy: it's also to identify potential hazards within a landing ellipse.

This is one of the trickier aspects of selecting landing sites on Mars: a place to do good science but also where the risks of landing are low. Jezero Crater is an ancient crater where clay minerals have been detected, and with a delta deposit indicating that water was once flowing into a lake. Since clays form the in presence of water, this crater would be a very good candidate for a lander to explore and build on what we've learned from the Mars Science Laboratory. Could some form of ancient life have existed here and for how long?

This is a stereo pair with ESP_039203_1985

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


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