NASA has decided to send its next Mars rover to Jezero Crater to search for life, after after considering more than 60 other possible locations, the agency announced Monday.
The big picture: The next mission to the Red Planet will launch in July 2020. The rover will look for signs of past habitable conditions and will collect and store rock and soil samples. Future Mars exploration missions could retrieve those samples for analysis. “Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement.