Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have installed the SuperCam Mast Unit onto the Mars 2020 rover to probe the Jezero Crater landing site with its landforms reaching as far back as 3.6 billion years. “It will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
A series of missions will set a new bar for humankind’s technological achievements as NASA and ESA aim to bring samples back from Mars Jezero Crater that once held a lake and contains an ancient preserved river delta. The rocks in the area will have preserved information about the Red Planet’s long and diverse geologic history and its stark, dramatic climate change through the eons.
“What’s exciting is that we’ll see very soon if I’m right or wrong,” said Christopher Kremer at Brown University about a strange mineral deposit near the geologically rich terrain of Jezero Crater, the landing site for NASA’s Mars2020 rover. “So that’s a little nerve wracking,” but if it’s not a volcanic ashfall he adds, “it’s probably going to be something much stranger.”