Author Topic: Midway landing site  (Read 1914 times)

Offline vjkane

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 651
  • Liked: 126
  • Likes Given: 3
Midway landing site
« on: 05/13/2018 04:06 PM »
Two of the proposed 2020 landing sites, Jezero crater and NE Syrtis, lie just a few 10's of kilometers apart.  The 2020 rover project is now evaluating whether the mission could land on a delta in Jezero crater and then move to collect samples at a 'midway' site that most of geologic features of the NE Syrtis site.  The geologic features of midway would need to be confirmed as would safe landing eclipses for the subsequent Mars ascent vehicle/fetch rover to land in.

This option has been presented at two meetings.  These are the only two slides from the last MEPAG meeting.

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11386
  • Liked: 2898
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Midway landing site
« Reply #1 on: 05/13/2018 06:09 PM »
It was briefly described at our Space Studies Board meeting a couple of weeks ago. I have the slides from that.

Offline redliox

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Arizona USA
  • Liked: 390
  • Likes Given: 64
Re: Midway landing site
« Reply #2 on: 05/15/2018 03:15 AM »
Two of the proposed 2020 landing sites, Jezero crater and NE Syrtis, lie just a few 10's of kilometers apart.  The 2020 rover project is now evaluating whether the mission could land on a delta in Jezero crater and then move to collect samples at a 'midway' site that most of geologic features of the NE Syrtis site.  The geologic features of midway would need to be confirmed as would safe landing eclipses for the subsequent Mars ascent vehicle/fetch rover to land in.

This option has been presented at two meetings.

This sounds like a promising compromise.  I recall that Pathfinder's site was purposely chosen to be Ares Vallis' delta so it'd have a chance to see different rock types.  At least if the rover ends up driving to one region from the midway point it would still study samples that came from the other.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline Don2

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 131
  • Liked: 35
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Midway landing site
« Reply #3 on: 05/18/2018 06:42 AM »
It might be better to do the 'Midway ' site as part of an extended mission, but I can see why the scientists want a hydrothermal site as well as a crater lake site.

The last universal common ancestor of all Earth life has now been identified as a hydrothermal vent organism living off of CO2 and H2. Hydrothermal vents are a favored site for the origin of life. However, a photosynthetic lifeform will prefer the upper layers of a crater lake. A lifeform that lives by degrading asteroridal organics might find the mud of the delta to its liking. The Jezero Crater - NE Syrtis region certainly has everything an astrobiologist could want.

This will also be an excellent region for a manned Mars mission to explore.

Offline redliox

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Arizona USA
  • Liked: 390
  • Likes Given: 64
Re: Midway landing site
« Reply #4 on: 07/10/2018 04:38 AM »
Apparently Midway has been approved as a candidate site: https://www.space.com/41108-nasa-2020-mars-rover-fourth-landing-site-candidate.html

Seems like a good compromise, although the 2 sites it borders were already very close (at least from a global or regional perspective).
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline vjkane

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 651
  • Liked: 126
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Midway landing site
« Reply #5 on: 07/16/2018 03:02 PM »
Apparently Midway has been approved as a candidate site: https://www.space.com/41108-nasa-2020-mars-rover-fourth-landing-site-candidate.html

Seems like a good compromise, although the 2 sites it borders were already very close (at least from a global or regional perspective).
From listening in to meetings, I don't think that the Space.com article got it quite right.  Midway is not seen as a replacement for either Jezero Crater or NE Syrtis.  Midway is a location that apparently has the geologic features of the NE Syrtis site, but is closer to Jezero Crater.  The idea is that the 2020 rover would study and collect samples both from Jezero Crater and Midway.  That is the "possibly getting two birds with one rover" part of Jack Mustard's quote in the article. 

The Jezero Crater and NE Syrtis sites are only a few dozen kilometers apart.  Midway is about half that distance.

Tags: