NASA scientists have discovered a potential place for its Mars 2020 rover to look for signs of ancient life in Jezero Crater where the rover will land in February of 2021.
The Rover is set to be deployed in the Jezero Crater which is 28 Miles & 1640 feet deep The crater is about 3.5 billion years ago, which makes it suitable for finding potential signs of life. The rover, equipped with a drill, will collect rock samples which will be analyzed on Earth.
A paper published today in the journal Icarus identifies distinct deposits of minerals called carbonates along the inner rim of Jezero, the site of a lake more than 3.5 billion years ago. On Earth, carbonates help form structures that are hardy enough to survive in fossil form for billions of years, including seashells, coral and some stromatolites – rocks formed on this planet by ancient microbial life along ancient shorelines, where sunlight and water were plentiful according to JPL Blog.
NASA’s Curiosity rover had already found that parts of Mars could have supported microbial life billions of years ago. Mars 2020 is NASA’s next-generation mission to study life throughout the universe.