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Emily LakdawallaSeptember 17, 2008

MSL landing site meeting: Votes are in!

Today at the Mars Science Laboratory landing site selection meeting -- which I had to stay home and miss, having a very important other obligation (a music class with my 2-year-old) -- they spent the afternoon voting on the seven landing sites that had been presented. Ryan Anderson reports that there appear to be three clear favorites: the three closed basins, Gale crater, Eberswalde delta, and Holden crater. The two spectacular-mineralogy-but-not-closed-basin sites (Nili Fossae and Mawrth Vallis) were middle-ranked. And the two Meridiani sites (Miyamoto and South Meridiani) were lowest-ranked. These are but recommendations; they get passed on to the project science group for further consideration.

If you want to learn more about Gale, Eberswalde, and Holden, you can visit the NASA Ames website to download the presentations made by the scientists on each site. (Gale's aren't available yet, presumably because they were given only this morning.) I do have notes on Holden and Eberswalde that I'll try to write up tomorrow. In the meantime, here's what Ryan had to say about Gale, Eberswalde, and Holden.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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