Mars Science Laboratory
Jezero was one of the sites considered for exploration by the Mars Science Laboratory. Clay minerals have been detected in and around the crater. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified smectite clays.  Clays form in the presence of water, so this area probably once held water and maybe life in ancient times. The surface in placs are cracked into polygonal patterns. Such shapes often form when clay dries out. These patterns can be seen in the image below. The image shows a channel that carried water and seduiments into Jezero Crater.
The aim of the Mars Science Laboratory is to search for signs of ancient life. It is hoped that a later mission could then return samples from sites identified as probably containing remains of life. To safely bring the craft down, a 12 mile wide, smooth, flat circle is needed. Geologists hope to examine places where water once ponded. They would like to examine sediment layers.
- Prime landing sites chosen for biggest Martian rover - space - 02 November 2007 - New Scientist Space
- Murchie, S. et al. 2009. A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Journal of Geophysical Research: 114.
- Ehlmann et al.; Mustard, John F.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Schon, Samuel C.; Head Iii, James W.; Des Marais, David J.; Grant, John A.; Murchie, Scott L. (2008). "Clay minerals in delta deposits and organic preservation potential on Mars". Nature Geoscience 1 (6): 355–358. Bibcode:2008NatGe...1..355E. doi:10.1038/ngeo207.
- Schon et al. (2008). "Meander Loops and Point Bar Sequences - Evidence of a Stable Delta Plain Environment in Jezero crater". Lunar and Planetary Sciences conference.
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