When landing the robot on another planet, the most important question is probably the position to put the dang. Researchers on the mission of ExoMars, consisting of probes and landers, have now announced their preferred location on the red planet.
After years of discussions, scientists have chosen the Oxia Planum as the best place to do it, at the National Space Center in Leicester, England. Though an in-depth review is needed, this position can be the most important point in determining whether or not life existed on Mars.
Balonique Dehant, a researcher on the Lander radio science experiment on the ground platform of the Belgian Royal Observatory, said in an interview with Gizmodo magazine: "We can achieve the goal there, Is very good.
The ExoMars 2020 is the next step in the ExoMars mission: a rover and landing platform to be sent to Mars as part of a joint mission between the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos. The rover and platform consist of a tool to measure the dust and atmosphere of the planet and are separated immediately before landing. The main objective of the mission is to find evidence of organic molecules deep in the dust of Mars, and possibly chemical signals of life, biological signals.
Assuming that Mars on Earth has more land than water, according to ESA fact sheets, choosing a site was a long process. Such sites should be scientifically interesting with signs of wet past. Rockets and parachutes must be in the lowlands as much as possible to maximize the amount of air in order to slow the descending cargo. And it must be flat enough to land safely and rover to navigate.
Oxia Planum is on the north side of the equator of Mars. The channels that pass through the clay are traces of past channels and potential reservoirs of organic molecules.
Nominations are requested through the five-year process started with an organized working group. The team narrowed the options down to both Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis. Both were of scientific interest and Mawrth Vallis had a slightly more diverse geology, but Oxia Planum was a more navigable area at lower altitudes.
Mission scientists can not pinpoint the exact location for landing. Instead, create an ellipse that is used as a target for landing parts. The ellipse is relatively unobstructed, has one crater in the corner, and is similar in size to Rhode Island. Dehant said the probability of landing in a crater is relatively low.
There is more to a successful landing than to choose a good spot. Of course, the descent should proceed as planned. In 2016, an ExoMars Schiaparell lander crashed into an erroneous computer.
Choosing a landing point determines the kind of science that the rover is expected to perform. Oxia Planum is not much different in terms of its scientific discovery with Gale Crater, the ancient lake of the current NASA curiosity probe. Dehant explained to Gizmodo. But she hopes Oxia Planum will be a good place to find biometrics.
The experiment of the probe will be a set of tools for studying the climate and atmosphere of the planet as well as seeing the soil. Anyway, the recent results of curiosity not only discovered organic molecules on Earth, but also found strange seasonal changes in atmospheric methane.
Scientists interested in Mars atmosphere probably have fewer missions arrivals. They will only work if the experiment is working normally.
As part of ExoMars 2016, Francesca Ferri, a senior researcher on the Atmospheric Mars invasion and landing survey and analysis, told Gizmodo "during a safe time". "This is the most important thing."[ESA]