A small basin (center foreground) lies below the southern rim of Melas Chasma, part of Valles Marineris.

March 5, 2003

A small basin (center foreground) lies below the southern rim of Melas Chasma, part of Valles Marineris.

The basin likely holds ancient lakebed sediments, which earned it a place on the list of potential landing sites for NASA's advanced Mars Science Laboratory rover. Unfortunately, mission operation difficulties forced scientists and mission planners to drop it from consideration. This view looks west down Melas Chasma (no vertical exaggeration).

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University, R. Luk

ENLARGE

You Might Also Like