More reports on: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Next Mars rover mission to land at Gale Crater news
23 July 2011

NASA's next Mars mission, another rover, will touch down in a place called the Gale crater, one of the planet's deepest craters.  NASA has zeroed in on the site in the expectation that it would likely yield the best clues to the question if the planet ever supported life.

Gale Crater is shown with the rover's landing area circled in yellow. Image courtesy NASAThe $2.5bn rover, called the Mars Science Laboratory­ - Curiosity, is slated to launch from Florida in November this year and slated to arrive at the Gale crater in August 2012.

MSL-Curiosity will weigh almost a tonne and will be the size of a Mini Cooper car. It will be the first astro-biology experiment on Mars since the Viking mission in 1976.

The Gale Crater

Gale Crater is about 155km in diameter, and its lowest point is about 4.6km below datum, the reference point on Mars from which all other elevations are measured. Gale was selected after investigating 60 competing sites with the selection process taking five years and involving about 150 researchers.

The search was conducted through high-resolution satellite imagery.





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Next Mars rover mission to land at Gale Crater