Landing Site Selected for Mars 2020 Mission on This Week @NASA – November 23, 2018

A landing site is selected for our next Mars
rover … Our InSight mission is in the home stretch
of its journey to the Red Planet … And a week of celebration on the space station
… a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! On Nov. 19, we announced that, after a five-year
search that included more than 60 candidate locations on Mars, Jezero Crater has been
selected as the landing site for our upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission. “This decision today could determine what
happens in the next decade or more of Mars exploration – both robotic and human. The technologies that we prove here feed forward
into a program that gets ever more exciting.” The mission is scheduled to launch in July
2020 as the next step in exploration of the Red Planet: It will not only look for signs
of ancient habitable conditions and past microbial life, but will also collect rock and soil
samples that could be retrieved for return to Earth by a potential future Mars mission. A series of news briefings on Nov. 21 focused
on the upcoming landing on Mars of InSight, our next mission to the Red Planet, and our
first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012. The InSight lander is scheduled to touch down
on Nov. 26 at approximately 3 p.m. EST. We’ll carry live coverage of the event on
NASA Television, on and on the agency’s social media platforms. InSight will be the first spacecraft to study
the Red Planet’s deep interior to help us better understand the formation of all rocky
worlds, including Earth. It was a busy week – full of celebration
aboard the International Space Station. On Nov. 20, the crew celebrated the 20-year
anniversary of the 1998 launch of the Russian-built Zarya module – the first element of the
space station. Meanwhile, our Serena Aunon-Chancellor and
her space station crewmates Alexander Gerst of ESA and Russia’s Sergey Prokopyev, were
busy welcoming a couple of resupply vehicles. A Russian Progress spacecraft arrived with
cargo on Nov. 18, followed by Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft – which arrived
on Nov. 19 with about 7,400 pounds of research and supplies. Aunon-Chancellor and Gerst also recorded a
video message to talk about the crew’s plans for Thanksgiving dinner. “And this … is our turkey.” Along with Russian colleague Sergey Prokopyev,
their plans included a little down time from their daily activities to reflect on the things
for which they are thankful. “From the crew of Expedition 57 – from
our home to yours – we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.” That’s what’s up this week @NASA … For more on these and other stories follow
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