The perfect touchdown spot may have a 200-foot radius and will likely be completely flat, situated inside the Jezero crater, and shut sufficient to the place Perseverance is exploring to have the ability to decide up the samples the rover has deposited. The realm must be not solely flat as in missing hills, but additionally missing in massive boulders or sand dunes, each of which might trigger issues for a touchdown car.
The workforce is ready to get an concept of potential areas by taking a look at information taken by Mars orbiters, which might take photographs of the planet’s floor at impressively excessive resolutions given how far-off they’re. However to actually see the terrain up shut and intimately, the workforce wants a better view which they will get from the cameras on Perseverance. The rover has been scouting out areas that the workforce had flagged as potential touchdown websites — nicknamed touchdown strips on account of their lengthy straight shapes — and sending this information again to Earth.
“We had been eyeing these areas since earlier than Perseverance’s touchdown, however imagery from orbit can solely inform you a lot,” stated JPL’s Mars Pattern Return Methods Engineering & Integration supervisor, Al Chen. “Now now we have some up-close-and-personal photographs of the touchdown strip that point out we have been proper on the cash. The touchdown strip will greater than doubtless make our shortlist of potential touchdown and caching websites for MSR.”