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TIL: Choosing a Mars Landing Spot is Harder Than You Think | Today I Learned

TIL: Choosing a Mars Landing Spot is Harder Than You Think | Today I Learned



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When you have an entire planet to explore, how do you decide where to land the rover? There’s no wrong place to start, according to planetary geologist Bethany Ehlmann. Anywhere on the planet, there’s always something new to learn from a rover expedition.
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When you have an entire planet to explore, how do you decide where to land your rover? As it turns out, there’s no wrong place to start, according to planetary geologist and Mars expert Bethany Ehlmann. She helps direct the NASA Mars rover Curiosity, which analyzes the geochemistry of rocks on Mars to learn about the planet’s environment. Whether it touches down in a Martian canyon, former lake, formerly active volcano, or most anywhere on the planet’s surface, there is always something new to learn from a rover expedition. But the landing is a lot tougher to figure out than it looks. Satellites scan and image possible landing locations, and Bethany’s team scrutinizes practically every pixel for rocks or other obstacles that may inhibit safe landing. She answers many important questions: Can we land there? Is it safe? Do we want to land there? Is this the best site for this mission? If the rover lasts longer than expected, where do we go from there to continue the exploration? It isn’t easy to plan a Mars rover landing, but it’s one of the most important tools we have to learn about the history and the possibility of life on the red planet.

SERIES PRODUCER: Chris Mattle
PRODUCERS: Laurence Alexander, Nora Rappaport
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Jared M. Gair
EDITOR: Mónica Pínzón

TIL: Choosing a Mars Landing Spot is Harder Than You Think | Today I learned

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12 comments

  1. Worried about Mars what about our planet bunch of crap

  2. Meanwhile back on Earth…we continue to degrade the environment, poison our fresh water, and make the environment uninhabitable for all the insects that have been here for millions of years…AND NO-ONE CARES!!!!!

  3. Primary school books in the future be like –
    Chapter 1 – Earth
    Chapter 2 – Mars

  4. The Reapers f'd up Mars.

  5. Maybe because the planet is dying.

  6. Michael from Vsource did a video about it yesterday. Coincidence?

  7. It was me that disliked the video

  8. don't Trump own Mars ? He said that is were he is goin to get all the dirt to build that wall between U.S.A and Mexico

  9. Awwww, she is cute and fun. We need more people like her in science.

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