Jezero Crater as a landing site

From NASA workshop in 2017

The best fortune for explorers would be to discover and learn about a new destination. NASA has been selecting 8 sites on Mars that would be best for their scientists and engineers to complete their next mission for Mars Exploration; MARS 2020.

The 3rd workshop was held in Pasadena, California. Based on the final vote from knowledgable researchers and scientists, the choice to be considered was Jezero Crater.

This is a PDF presentation by T Goudge, at JPL NASA 3rd workshop for 2020 Landing Site for Mars Rover Mission: Exploring the Volcanic, Alteration, Climate, and Fluvio-Lacustrine Record of Early Mars at Jezero Crater 


(Wiki) Jezero is a crater on Mars located at 18.855°N 77.519°E in the Syrtis Major quadrangle. The diameter of the crater is about 49.0 km (30.4 mi). Thought to have once been flooded with water, the crater contains a fan-delta deposit rich in clays.

The crater was named after one of the towns with this name in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In several Slavic languages, including Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Serbian, Slovak and Slovene, the word jezero means “lake”.

Life may have developed in the crater since it is believed the lake was long-lived; the delta may have required period of 106–107 years to form.  Clays form in the presence of water, so this area probably once held water and maybe life in ancient times. The surface in places are cracked into polygonal patterns. Such shapes often form when clay dries out.


Syrtis Major, Jezero Crater by Viking 1 orbiter.