Welcome to the official website for scientific community support of landing site selection for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission. Information provided here includes details on science criteria for evaluating potential landing sites, specific engineering constraints, possible enhanced entry, descent and landing (EDL) capabilities, planetary protection guidelines, and information needed to define a landing site for the workshops and subsequent imaging.

19 November 2018: JEZERO CRATER has been chosen as the landing site for the
Mars 2020 Rover.
The official NASA press release is available at:

The fourth and final landing site workshop for the Mars 2020 rover mission occured October 16-18, 2018 at the Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale in Glendale, CA. Further information and workshop logistics are available below and on the 4th Workshop (2018) web page.

Workshop Outcome:

Workshop Documents and Links:

Workshop Logistics:

Workshop will be available via Adobe Connect

The 4th Landing Site Workshop will be broadcast via Adobe Connect for those unable to attend in person. To connect:

  • Go to https://ac.arc.nasa.gov/landing-site-workshop/. NASA Employees can log in using their NDC credentials. For those without NDC credentials, choose the "Enter as Guest" option, type your name in the field provided, and click "Enter Room".
  • For audio, a teleconference line is available: 1-844-467-4685, Passcode: 312989#.
  • To minimize noise on the call-in lines, all calls to the Workshop will be muted. If you have questions or comments, simply post them to the Adobe Connect chat room, and they will be conveyed to the presenters as time allows.

Parking at the Workshop Site

Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale
100 West Glenoaks Blvd
Glendale, CA 91202

Reduced parking rates of $10 per day for self-park and $19 per day for valet have been negotiated with the Hilton. To receive the discounted rate, you must mention that you are a workshop participant to the parking attendant upon exit.

There is no street parking available directly adjacent to the Hilton. Street parking is available several blocks away; however, it may be difficult to find. Please plan accordingly.

Information for Presenters

Please consult the
Final Program to see when your presentation is scheduled. Note that the time provided (generally 10-15min) should include any time necessary for Q&A and set-up. Given the packed schedule, we will hold strictly to time.

All presentations will be shown from a centralized computer. Please submit your presentations in either PDF or PowerPoint at least 24 hours before your presentation. For those presenting on the first day of the workshop (Oct 16), please forward your file via email to Kelly.L.Perry@jpl.nasa.gov. For those presenting on the second or third day, your presentation can be submitted via email or via USB Flash Drive during the preceding meeting day. This will allow us to prepare the workshop web site in advance and ensure that presentations are properly loaded for display.

Presenters from JPL should have all materials cleared by JPL Document Review prior to presentation. Presenters from other institutions are required to sign and return Form 7071.pdf before their presentations can be posted onto the web site. Form 7071 was emailed to all presenters, and hardcopies will be available at the workshop.

Please contact Kelly L. Perry if the document you would like posted to the web site is different from the file used for your presentation.

Food and Beverage Options during the Workshop

A one hour lunch break has been planned on each day of the workshop. There are many restaurants within 0.5 miles of the venue. The Hilton also has both fast and sit-down options for lunch.

Water will be provided in the conference room. Coffee will be available for purchase near the Hilton's lobby. There is also a popular coffee and tea shop across the street.

Final Program

Day 1/October 16, 2018

8:30 am Introduction
8:30 am M. Meyer and J. Grant
Welcome,Opening Remarks, Logistics (15 min)
8:45 am M.T. Wallace and J.B. McNamee
Project Status (15 min)
9:00 am A. Chen
Landing Safety Assessment (15 min)
9:15 am K. Farley, K. Williford, and K. Stack Morgan
Science Objectives, Landing Site Working Group Operation Scenarios, and Site Assessment Criteria (15 min)
9:30 am Broad Approaches to Site Selection I: Biosignatures
9:30 am F. Westall
How and Where to Find Signatures of Chemotrophic Microorganisms in Martian Rocks (10 min)
9:40 am D.C. Catling, T. Bosak, W.W. Fischer, J.P. Grotzinger, J.A. Hurowitz, D.D. Sasselov, R.E. Summons, J.D. Sutherland, J.W. Szostak, and the Simons Collaboration on the Origin of Life
A search for prebiotic signatures on Mars with the 2020 rover mission (10 min)
9:50 am J. Michalski
Managing Our Photosynthetic Bias in the Exploration for Biosignatures on Mars (10 min)
10:00 am M.P. Zorzano and J. Martin-Torres
Landing Sites and Mars Sample Return: Environmental Implications on Present Day Habitable Samples? (10 min)
10:10 am Broad Approaches to Site Selection II: Site Comparisons - Mineralogy
10:10 am F. Seelos, K. Frizzell, S. Cartwright, and the CRISM SOC
A regional view of surface spectral/color variability at the 2020 candidate sites derived from CRISM mapping data (10 min)
10:20 am M. Parente, Y. Itoh, A. Saranathan
A New Generation of CRISM Data Products (10 min)
10:30 am R. Arvidson
CRISM-based inter-comparisons of mineral absorption strengths for the four final 2020 rover candidate landing sites (10 min)
10:40 am F. Poulet, A. Martinez, D. Loizeau, J. Carter, L. Riu
Modal mineralogy of the terrains surrounding the Mars 2020 landing sites in Nili and implications on the past geochemical conditions (10 min)
10:50 am E. Noe Dobrea and R. Clark
Mineralogy of the Candidate Mars 2020 Landing Sites Using Tetracorder (10 min)
11:00 am M. Salvatore
Squeezing More Science Out of Our Orbiters: Using the Mars 2020 Rover and Returned Samples to Ground Truth Spectral Data Sets (10 min)
11:10 am B. Bruner
Meteorites and Minerals Associated with the Origin of Life (10 min)
11:20 am Discussion (30 min)
11:50-12:50 Lunch
12:50 pm Broad Approaches to Site Selection III: Site Comparisons - Chronology and Magnetics
12:50 am F. Calef, I. Daubar, and N. Warner
Potential for Absolute Age Dating a Volcanic Unit for Crater Retention Age Calibration at the Mars 2020 Proposed Landing Sites (10 min)
1:00 pm C. Quantin-Nataf, L. Mandon, B. Bultel, and S. Werner
Rock Age Diversity of Each Mars 2020 Site and Their Potential for Crater Chronology Calibration (10 min)
1:10 pm B. Bultel,C. Quantin-Nataf and S.C. Werner
Selection of Units to Obtain Reliable Calibration of the Martian Cratering Chronology: Lessons Learned from Lunar Science (10 min)
1:20 pm A. Mittelholz and B. Weiss
The Mars 2020 Candidate Landing Sites: A Magnetic Perspective(10 min)
1:30 pm Broad Approaches to Site Selection IV: Sample Cache Considerations
1:30 pm H.M. Sapers, A. Pontefract, G.R. Osinski, C.S. Cockell, C.M. Caudill, J.F. Mustard, K.M. Cannon, L.L. Tornabene
Science value and biogenetic potential of impact lithologies: relevance to Mars 2020 landing sites (10 min)
1:40 pm C.D.K. Herd, J. Filiberto, and T. Usui
Igneous lithologies at the Mars 2020 Landing Sites: Prospects for achieving MSR science goals (10 min)
1:50 pm M. Wadhwa, L. Borg, Y. Amelin, T. Kleine, and W. Cassata
Sample Requirements and Considerations for Future Geochronologic Investigations in Earth-Based Laboratories of Samples Cached During the Mars 2020 Mission (10 min)
2:00 pm Discussion (30 min)
2:30 pm Discussion of Final Candidate Sites
2:30 pm Columbia Hills I: Science Considerations
2:30 pm S.W. Ruff, V. Hamilton, D. Rogers, C. Edwards, B. Horgan, and M. Van Kranendonk
From Planetary Evolution to Potential Biosignatures: Achieving Mission Success with the Mars 2020 Rover and Instrument Suite at the Columbia Hills Site (20 min)
2:50 pm A. Longo, J.W. Rice, Jr., and S.W. Ruff
Science and Public Engagement Opportunities in the Columbia Hills Landing Ellipse (10 min)
3:00 pm K.A. Campbell, T. Djokic, M.J. Van Kranendonk, S.W. Ruff, J.D. Farmer, C. Sriaporn, K.M. Handley, M. Millan, B. Teece, D.M. Guido
Origin and Significance of Opaline Silica Deposits at Columbia Hills (15 min)
3:15 pm J.W. Rice, Jr., F. Chuang, D. Crown, D. Berman, V. Baker, T. Liu, P. Haughton, W. Nemec and R. Slingerland
New Results from Geologic Mapping of Gusev Crater: Implications for Extended Mission Targets (15 min)
3:30 pm M.J. Van Kranendonk, S. Ruff, K.A. Campbell, and T. Djokic
A Mars 2020 Mission to Columbia Hills: Risk Minimization through Ground Truth. (15 min)
3:45 pm Discussion (15 min)
4:00 pm Columbia Hills II: Operations Scenarios
4:00 pm Mars 2020 Landing Site Working Group
Operations Scenarios (60 min)
5:00 pm Discussion (45 min)
5:45 pm End of Day 1

Day 2/October 17, 2018
8:30 am Talks Related to Jezero, NE Syrtis and Midway
8:30 am J.F. Mustard, M.S. Bramble, C.H. Kremer and A.C. Pascuzzo
Outstanding Mars and Planetary Science Questions from Returned Samples Collected from NE Syrtis, Midway and/or Jezero Delta (15 min)
8:45 am E. L. Scheller and B. L. Ehlmann
Composition, Impact Deformation, and Geological History of Noachian Basement in the Surrounding of the Isidis Impact Basin (15 min)
9:00 am L. Hallis, A. Macartney, L. Daly, A. O'Brien, N. Mari, B. Cohen, and M. R. Lee
Carbon Sequestration on Mars: Possible Insights from the MG Carbonate/Olivine Lithologies at NE Syrtis or Jezero Crater (15 min)
9:15 am C. H. Kremer, J. F. Mustard, M. S. Bramble
Possible Clastic Origin for Olivine-Rich Rocks in the Nili Fossae Region: Implications for NE Syrtis, Midway, and Jezero Landing Site Science (15 min)
9:30 am Discussion (15 min)
9:45 am NE Syrtis and Midway I: Science Considerations
9:45 am J.R. Skok
The Environmental Evolution of the NE Syrtis Region (15 min)
10:00 am E. S. Amador and B. L. Ehlmann
The Circum-Isidis Olivine-Carbonate Unit and its Expression in and Around the NE Syrtis Landing Site (15 min)
10:15 am M. S. Bramble, J. F. Mustard, and C. H. Kremer
Geological Continuity Between the Midway and NE Syrtis Candidate Landing Sites for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission (15 min)
10:30 am D.P. Quinn and B.L. Ehlmann
Sedimentary Units Accessible in the NE Syrtis Extended Mission Area and Recent Finding on the History of Surface Water in the Broader Region (15 min)
10:45 am B.L. Ehlmann
Mapping the Decadal Survey Drivers for Sample Return to Geologic Units Accessible in the Primary and Extended Missions from NE Syrtis and Midway (15 min)
11:00 am T. C. Onstott, B. L. Ehlmann, and H. Sapers, J. Marlow, M. Ivarsson, A. Neubeck, D. Nisson, R. Harris, Z. Garvin, P. Niles and M. Coleman
How Mars 2020 Could Look for Life in the Noachian Stratigraphy at NE Syrtis or Midway (15 min)
11:15 am Discussion (15 min)
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:30 pm NE Syrtis and Midway II: Operations Scenarios
12:30 pm Mars 2020 Landing Site Working Group
Operations Scenarios (60 min)
1:30 pm Discussion (45 min)
2:15 pm Jezero Crater I: Science Considerations
2:15 pm N. Mangold, G. Dromart, F. Salese, V. Ansan, and M. Massé
Constraints on the duration of fluvial and lacustrine activity at Jezero crater (15 min)
2:30 pm K. L. Lynch, J. J. Wray, K. A. Rey, and R. J. Bond
Habitability and Preservation Potential of the Bottomset Deposits in Jezero Crater (15 min)
2:45 pm T. A. Goudge, D. Mohrig, B. T. Cardenas, C. M. Hughes, and C. I. Fassett
Examining the Record of Fluvial Activity on Early Mars: Extended Mission Targets at Channel Deposit Outcrops of the Jezero Delta (15 min)
3:00 pm K. M. Kinch and S. Shahrzad
The Dark-Toned, Mafic Floor Unit in Jezero Crater: Morphology, Cratering Statistics, and Formation Hypotheses (15 min)
3:15 pm B. Horgan, R. Anderson, M. Rice, E. Amador, and G. Dromart
The Mineralogy of Jezero Crater: Implications for Fluvio-Lacustrine History and Biosignature Preservation (15 min)
3:30 pm A. Brown, T. Goudge, and C. Viviano
Exploring the Olivine-Carbonate Association in the Jezero Crater Region, Possible Serpentinization and its Astrobiological Potential (15 min)
3:45 pm J. D. Tarnas, J. F. Mustard, H. Lin, E. S. Amador, T. A. Goudge, M. S. Bramble, and X. Zhang
Application of Dynamic Aperture Factor Analysis/Target Transformation for Mineral Detection: Presence of Opaline Silica in Jezero Crater and the Surrounding NE Syrtis Region (15 min)
4:00 pm Discussion (15 min)
4:15 pm Jezero Crater II: Operations Scenarios
4:15 pm Mars 2020 Landing Site Working Group
Operations Scenarios (60 min)
5:15 pm Discussion (45 min)
6:00 pm End of Day 2

Day 3/October 18, 2018
8:30 am Mars 2020 Landing Site Working Group
Extended Mission Traverse Between Jezero and Midway (45 min)
9:15 am Discussion (45 min)
10:00 am Summary Discussions and Assessment(90 min)
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:30 pm Community Assessment of Final Candidate Landing Sites(120 min)
2:30pm End of Workshop


Landing Site Workshop: John Grant (grantj@si.edu), Matthew Golombek (mgolombek@jpl.nasa.gov)