Rocky Mesas of Nilosyrtis Mensae, Mars

May 06, 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: DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A close-up with a comet

Nov 11, 2014

Even as Tom Economou approached retirement age in 1994, he began planning an instrument for the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to a comet. He still remembers the reaction of Riccardo Levi-Setti, ...

Frontiers in mineral exploration

Nov 07, 2014

An international group of specialists in the field of planetary sciences has found strong evidence that lava flows on Mars may also host base and precious metals.

Recommended for you

Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

47 minutes ago

This NAVCAM mosaic comprises four individual images taken on 20 November from a distance of 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/C-G. The image resolution is 2.6 m/pixel, so each original 1024 x 1024 pixel ...

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

21 hours ago

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere—and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results ...

Team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight

22 hours ago

Space is one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments. Human exploration of space requires astronauts to maintain consistently high levels of cognitive performance to ensure mission safety and success, and prevent ...

User comments : 0

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.