image 20-November-2017 16:27:44

ExoMars 2016 landing site

Date: 22 February 2016
Satellite: ExoMars 2016
Copyright: IRSPS/TAS-I

The ExoMars 2016 entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module, also known as Schiaparelli, will touch down on Mars on 19 October 2016 within the solid ellipse marked on this topographical image. The ellipse shown here measures about 115 km East-West and 25 km North-South, and takes account of all landing ellipses that would arise from a launch during the launch window of 14-25 March.

The landing site on Meridiani Planum is a relatively smooth, flat region on Mars. The lower areas in this image are shown in pale yellow and green, while the higher plains are shown in brown. The largest crater to the right (East) of the image is Endeavour, which is about 22 km in diameter. NASA's Opportunity rover has been studying its western rim since 2011.

Opportunity has discovered the presence of rocks that were altered by contact with liquid water, billions of years ago. The minerals that formed in Meridiani indicate that the region was once covered by mildly acidic groundwater or freshwater lakes that could have been suitable for the evolution of primitive life. Some of the impact craters in this image are surrounded by muddy material that flowed out of them during their formation.

The topographical map is from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS).


Last Update: 24 February 2016

For further information please contact: RoboticExploration@esa.int

Related Images