NASA's Mars lander to touch down in five days

Nasa In Sight Mission’s live streaming at QNL on Monday

This illustration shows a simulated view of NASA's In Sight lander descending on its parachute toward the surface of Mars. Credits NASA JPL-Caltech

The Rover mission is set to launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral.

Scientists suspect the Mars 2020 rover may be able to detect signs of microbial life, as the landforms within the crater are estimated to be around 3.6 billion years old and were likely once part of a lake-delta system.

Mars 2020 is created to land inside the crater and collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth for further analysis, perhaps by the later 2020s.

"The landing site in Jezero Crater offers geologically rich terrain. that could potentially answer important questions in planetary evolution and astrobiology", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

At least five different kinds of rocks, including "clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life", are believed to lie in the crater, just north of the Martian equator, the United States space agency said in a statement.

The crater was chosen after a five-year search that examined some 60 other sites on Mars. Midway and Northeast Syrtis are close enough that it's possible the Mars 2020 rover could eventually roll that way from Jezero Crater, although mission managers say it's way too early to decide whether to do so. But landing safely isn't a slam dunk: Scientists want to make sure the rover doesn't land in a boulder field, a sand trap or on the edge of a cliff. It is considered the largest parking lot in Mars.

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"We're really excited. There's nothing as exciting as landing on Mars". It's taken just over six months to reach Mars.

This mission will study the internal structure, the tectonic and seismic activity on Mars.

Overcoming 485 million km, InSight will land in the volcanic area of the world, the Elysium highlands, which is located near the equator of Mars.

NASA is the only space agency to have successfully carried out mission on Mars.

Unlike the Curiosity and the Opportunity rovers sent as part of NASA's program to study the surface of the planet, the InSight's objective is to dig deep and listen for quakes. China is planning to get in on the action with its first-ever Mars mission, also due for launch during 2020's favorable launch opportunity.

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