Summaries of each of the final four candidate landing sites for the Mars Science Laboratory. The left column shows the regional context of each of the four sites (labeled on the left and discussed above) with colors representing the elevation of the land surface (purple lowest and red highest). The middle column shows examples of high priority science targets for exploration near the ellipse (yellow box in left column shows the location of each) and the right column shows science targets within each target landing ellipse (white box in left column shows the location of each). At Eberswalde crater, Curiosity would land on the crater floor and probe ancient river and possible lake beds on the way to a large delta on the western wall of the crater. At Gale crater, the site chosen as the landing site for Curiosity, landing will occur on an alluvial fan near the northern wall of the crater and the rover will than traverse to a thick stack of layered rocks to the south. At Holden crater, landing would take place on broad alluvial fans flanking the western wall of the crater and the rover would traverse down to underlying and finely layered rocks that may have been deposited in a lake. At Mawrth Vallis, landing would occur directly on a layered sequence of clay-bearing rocks that extend regionally across the surface. The images comprising the panels in the middle and right columns are from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The scale bars in each panel indicate distance in kilometers.
Image Number: WEB11954-2011
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