Planets

NASA chooses next rover landing spot in search for life on Mars

Jezero Crater on Mars, which is the new destination for NASA's next Mars rover.
On ancient Mars, water carved channels and transported sediments to form fans and deltas within lake basins. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/JHU-APL

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.

SpaceX plans to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the moon

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Yusaku Maezawa during the livestream
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (L) and Yusaku Maezawa during the announcement. Screengrab from SpaceX livestream.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday that the company plans to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

Why it matters: If successful, Maezawa will be the first ever private tourist to fly as far as the moon.

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