Hi, I am in 11th grade. I was wondering if you can give me the best place to land a rover on Mars, if you want it to land in a place with sedimentary rocks and yet flat land for smooth landing.


Thanks for your question!

It sounds like you're researching for a school project, so I can give you a few pointers on the web.

On the “Google Mars” application, address

http://www.google.com/mars

you can view an atlas (altitude or photographic) of Mars, and you can easily search for plains by clicking on the “Plains” link. You can also view the landing sites of the previous spacecrafts, download pictures of a selected region, etc.

For the second part of your question, I contacted Prof. Francis Nimmo (Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences here at UC Santa Cruz) and he says that

“whether or not the rocks are sedimentary is actually not an easy question. If you see layers, are they sedimentary or are they stacks of lavas? There are certain features (e.g. a river delta like Eberswalde) which are obviously sedimentary, but they are scattered over the surface of the planet. A good review of sedimentary features on Mars is in Malin and Edgett, Science 290, 1927-1937, 2000.”

There's a wikipedia page on Eberswalde here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eberswalde_(crater)

Inputting the coordinates in Google Mars will pop up a map for the region.

Hope this helps! Thanks for contacting us and let me know if you have further queries.

Stefano Meschiari - Graduate Student, UC Santa Cruz

 
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