This picture shows Gusev Crater. One of the rovers will land here. The yellow area shows where NASA thinks the rover will land.
Click on image for full size
Mars Rover Landing Sites Selected
News story originally written on April 25, 2003
NASA will soon send two robot rovers to Mars. Rockets carrying the two rovers will be launched from Earth in May and June of 2003. The rovers will get to Mars in January 2004.
NASA just decided where on Mars each rover will land. The rovers will land at places on Mars where there might have been water in the past. Scientists think places that had water are the best places to search for life. The two rovers will land at places where water may have been.
One rover will explore a large crater called Gusev Crater. It looks like Gusev Crater once had a big lake inside it. The other lander will touch down at a place called Meridiani Planum. Meridiani Planum seems to have a bunch of hematite in the area. Hematite is a mineral that often forms in wet places. So both landing sites seem like places that once had water. Maybe the rovers will find fossils of Martian life there!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
Galileo is a spacecraft that has been orbiting Jupiter for eight years. On September 21, 2003, Galileo will crash into Jupiter. It will burn up in Jupiter's atmosphere. The crash is not an accident! The...more
NASA will soon send two robot rovers to Mars. Rockets carrying the two rovers will be launched from Earth in May and June of 2003. The rovers will get to Mars in January 2004. NASA just decided where on...more
Scientists have been studying special places of the chilly ocean near Antarctica. They found that these places are favorite spots for thousands of penguins! Much of the ocean near Antarctica is covered...more
Scientists have learned that Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, has erupted in the past due to the mixing of two different types of magma. Adam Kent, a geologist at Oregon State University, says this...more
The Earth's mantle is a rocky, solid shell that is between the Earth's crust and the outer core. The mantle is made up of many different reservoirs that have different chemical compositions. Scientists...more
Some faults look strong and like they wouldn’t cause an earthquake. But it turns out that they can slip and slide like weak faults causing earthquakes. Scientists have been looking at one of these faults...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more