Before the year 2016 ended, NASA has updated the public with the progress of the organization's 2020 Mars manned mission. Recent reports revealed how NASA is currently picking a perfect mission site where humans can land safely.
There has been 54 potential landing locations suggested in 2015 for the next Mars rover mission that is possibly led by man. On that same year, though, members of the 2020 Mars Exploration program cut down the possible sites into eight high-priority spots where a final landing and mission site be chosen from. Following this, NASA's lead scientist for the program, Michael Meyer, has revealed that the institution will be sponsoring another conference in February 2017 to dig deeper into the mission sites.
The Mars 2020 rover is reportedly equipped with a special drill that collects core samples of rocks and soils. Scientists of NASA are looking at a future mission that could bring the samples from Mars to Earth as the special room-sized equipment in the organization's laboratory are impossible to be transported to the red planet.
The scientists reportedly are nailing more efforts to the site selection as the 2020 Mars manned lander rover mission is deemed a crucial project. As such, the 2020 Mars manned mission is aiming to pick a site that might have once supported life, specifically a history of hosting water in the past, according to Space. With this, scientists are hopeful that the humans traveling to the red planet will have a higher chance of surviving and completing their tasks.
Following this, NASA will narrow down further the potential landing and mission sites with the help of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that uses high-resolution imagery to have a closer look at the locations. While the NASA Mars Exploration Program was initially a robotic exploration, scientists are now looking forward to a Mars manned mission, hence the efforts to find a habitable location on the red planet, as noted by NASA.