Tiny satellites to assist NASA in monitoring InSight’s landing

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InSight is heading for a spot of land called Elysium Planitia, an area that astronomers have described as "the biggest parking lot on Mars".

That's particularly important for because one of the rover's tasks is to collect samples destined for return to Earth on a mission to be named later, most likely in the early 2030s.

At least five different kinds of rocks, including "clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life", are believed to lie in the crater, just north of the Martian equator, the United States space agency said in a statement.

The 28-mile- (45-kilometer) wide Jezero Crater was selected as the destination for the mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2020, because of its potential for scientific research.

There are a number of factors that NASA had to consider while choosing a landing site.

The crater was chosen after a five-year search that examined some 60 other sites on Mars.

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As it once hosted an ancient lake-delta system, NASA hopes Jezero also contains a variety of minerals, which would hugely help discover more about the red planet. "This will bring new insights on Mars formation and evolution that remains largely unconstrained". Utilizing information from NASA's armada of Mars orbiters, they will outline landscape in more noteworthy detail and distinguish districts of intrigue - places with the most fascinating geographical highlights, for instance - where Mars 2020 could gather the best science tests. The U.S.is the only country to have missions that have survived a Mars landing.

Mars 2020 will take advantage of technological advances that have been made since Curiosity was designed - including higher-resolution imagers, chemical life-detection instruments and even a mini-helicopter.

The United States is the only country to have missions that survived landing on Mars.

InSight, or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is going to explore a part of Mars that we know the least about: its deep interior.

It's been numerous years really taking shape, however, NASA's Mars 2020 wanderer mission is right now in the home stretch. China is planning to get in on the action with its first-ever Mars mission, also due for launch during 2020's favorable launch opportunity.


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