A Possible Landing Site for the 2020 Mission: Jezero Crater
It's not only when trying to find a scientifically interesting place to land that the high-resolution images from HiRISE come in handy: it's also to identify potential hazards within a landing ellipse.
This is one of the trickier aspects of selecting landing sites on Mars: a place to do good science but also where the risks of landing are low. Jezero Crater is an ancient crater where clay minerals have been detected, and with a delta deposit indicating that water was once flowing into a lake. Since clays form the in presence of water, this crater would be a very good candidate for a lander to explore and build on what we've learned from the Mars Science Laboratory. Could some form of ancient life have existed here and for how long?
The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona