Rocky Mesas of Nilosyrtis Mensae, Mars

May 6, 2008
Rocky Mesas of Nilosyrtis Mensae, Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Mesas in the Nilosyrtis Mensae region of Mars appear in enhanced color in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The image, taken on April 5, 2007, is part of a campaign to examine more than two dozen candidate landing sites for the NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover, which is scheduled for launch in 2009.

This image shows a region of scientific interest to which the Mars Science Laboratory rover might drive. The rover would need to first land in a nearby area that is flatter and less rocky. Clay minerals have been detected in this region by imaging spectrometers on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter and on MRO.

These minerals are of great interest in the search for evidence of life on ancient Mars. Someday the capability may exist for precision landing and hazard avoidance, so a rover could be set down right next to such rugged outcrops of interest for study and perhaps for collection of rock samples for return to Earth.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Curiosity Mars rover heads toward active dunes

Related Stories

Curiosity Mars rover heads toward active dunes

November 17, 2015

On its way to higher layers of the mountain where it is investigating how Mars' environment changed billions of years ago, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover will take advantage of a chance to study some modern Martian activity ...

'Chemical laptop' could search for signs of life outside earth

November 17, 2015

If you were looking for the signatures of life on another world, you would want to take something small and portable with you. That's the philosophy behind the "Chemical Laptop" being developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory ...

Image: ExoMars rover egress test

November 3, 2015

One small step for a robot: getting a robotic rover off its lander will be the next most nerve-wracking moment for Europe's 2018 ExoMars mission after landing.

Signs of acid fog found on Mars

November 2, 2015

While Mars doesn't have much in the way of Earth-like weather, it does evidently share one kind of weird meteorology: acid fog.

Upgrade helps NASA study mineral veins on Mars

November 12, 2015

Scientists now have a better understanding about a site with the most chemically diverse mineral veins NASA's Curiosity rover has examined on Mars, thanks in part to a valuable new resource scientists used in analyzing data ...

Recommended for you

Hubble captures a galactic waltz

November 26, 2015

This curious galaxy—only known by the seemingly random jumble of letters and numbers 2MASX J16270254+4328340—has been captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope dancing the crazed dance of a galactic merger. The ...

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.