Mars landing site announced for NASA rover -

Mars landing site announced for NASA rover

Curiosity to continue search for signs of life


NASA has chosen a landing site on Mars for its Curiosity rover, which is set to launch later this year and will continue the search for signs of whether Mars was ever inhabitable. On Friday, NASA scientists announced the rover—roughly the size of a small car—will touch down at the foot of a layered mountain inside Mars’ Gale crater, which is about the combined area of Connecticut and Rhode Island. The landing site was chosen among 30 potential sites which have been considered since 2006; in 2008, that number was whittled down to four. NASA reports the chosen site, named for Australian astronomer Walter F. Gale, has an alluvial fan that was likely formed by sediments carried by water, and layers at the base of the mountain contain clays and sulfites, both of which are known to form in water. Curiosity is carrying instruments that can identify other ingredients of life, such as organic compounds. Curiosity’s mission is scheduled to last nearly two Earth years.




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