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Ryan AndersonNovember 20, 2008

MSL Landing Sites Narrowed to Four

This article originally appeared on Ryan Anderson's "The Martian Chronicles" blog and is reposted here with permission.

I've known about this for a little while but it was finally made public: The list of MSL landing sites had now been trimmed to four. You can read the full press release here. The finalist sites are:

Gale Crater - The rover would land on an ancient alluvial fan and then work its way up a mound of sediments many kilometers high.

Eberswalde Delta - The rover would land on plains that may be an old lake-bed and work its way toward the best-preserved delta on Mars.

Holden Crater - The rover would land on a slope formed by water-carried debris, and then rove to the exposed sediments of what may have been a huge lake.

Mawrth Vallis - The rover would land on layered sediments that have some of the strongest detections of phyllosilicates on Mars.

I would love to write more, but I have to get back to work on mapping the landing site in Gale crater!

Read more: mission status, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson

Planetary Scientist for U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center
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