The 3rd landing site workshop for the 2020 Mars Rover mission was held at the Doubletree Hotel, Monrovia, CA, on February 8-10, 2017. The primary goal of the third workshop was to further evaluate the eight candidate landing sites that emerged from the second workshop and reduce the number of candidate sites remaining under consideration to three or four. Evaluations at the workshop employed the framework provided by existing data for Mars (e.g., MRO), the science requirements of the 2020 mission, and a better understanding of the 2020 engineering requirements and traversability of the landing sites relative to these requirements. Three sites were selected to continue as landing site candidates: Jezero Crater, NE Syrtis, and Columbia Hills. The letter describing the process and results of the workshop, sent from the Mars 2020 Landing Site Steering Committee Co-Chairs (John Grant and Matt Golombek) to the NASA Mars Lead Scientist (Michael Meyer), can be found here. The letter describing the Mars 2020 project’s revised list of candidate landing sites for the mission, sent from the 2020 Mars Project Scientists (Ken Farley and Ken Williford) to the NASA Mars Lead Scientist (Michael Meyer), can be found here. For more information about the three remaining landing site candidates, please see workshop presentations and this brief overview.
  • The final program, including presentation schedule is presented below, and can also be downloaded here. Kindly note that only those in physical attendance at the workshop are permitted to participate in the voting process.
  • Additional information on the science criteria of the eight candidate sites has been added to the Background page (see left bar), as well as information about the down-selection process. Presentations made at the Engineering Assessment Telecon on January 31, including the landing safety, atmospheric, terrain, and traversability analysis slides, are located within the Announcements Tab. These slide sets contain useful proposed landing ellipse position and ROI information.
  • Prior science presentations related to these and other candidate 2020 landing sites, and information on how the 2020 engineering constraints map to the eight candidate sites can be found within the prior workshop pages and other tabs on this website.
  • M. Rice kindly has provided a .kmz Google Mars file showing the landing ellipses within the eight candidate landing sites, as of the start of this workshop -- this can be downloaded here.
  Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Title Documents Author
8:30 am Introduction
Welcome, Opening Remarks, Logistics (15 mins) M. Meyer and J. Grant
Project Status (15 mins) M. Wallace and J. McNamee
Landing Safety Assessment (15 mins)  A. Chen
Surface Productivity Assessment (30 min) J. Trosper, et al.
Science Objectives, Site Evaluation Criteria, and Landing Site Working Group Assessment (60 min) K. Farley, K. Williford, and Hap McSween
10:45 am Overview Science and Biosignatures and Broad Approaches to Site Selection I
A Modeler’s Perspective on Global Climate during the Noachian and Early Hesperian (20 min) R. Wordsworth
Summary of Findings from Biosignature Preservation and Detection in Mars Analog Environments Workshop (20 min) D. Beaty and L. Hays
Signs of Rock-Hosted Life: Report of the Working Group (20 min) T. Onstott and B. Ehlmann
Biosignatures from Gale Crater (20 min) P. Mahaffy
Biosignature Preservation on Early Earth: A Pilbara Perspective on the Search for Fossil Life on Mars. (20 min) M. Van Kranendonk, T. Djokic, K. Campbell, M. Walter, D. Deamer, B. Damer, L. Stellar, Tsutomu, E. Nakamura, and W. Dang
12:25-2:00 pm Lunch
Evaluating the Proposed Mars 2020 Sedimentary Landing Sites for Ongoing Exhumation and Recent Exposure (15 min) J. Williams
Sediment Flux Results for Aeolian Dunes at Candidate Landing Sites for the Mars 2020 Rover (15 min) M. Chojnacki
2:30 pm Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - Nili Fossae Trough
The Case for Nili Fossae: Geologic History, Habitability, and Diversity of Returned Samples (15 min) K. Cannon, J. Mustard, L. Tornabene, H. Sapers, A. Brown, G. Osinski, B. Ehlmann, and S. Parman
Implication of Fractures in Determining Potential Area of Life on Mars: Cartography of Mineralogy in Nili Fossae (15 min) H. Sare
The Hargraves Ejecta Blanket: Opportunities for sampling diverse target and impact-related materials in the NFT landing ellipse (20 mins) L. Tornabene, C. Ryan, K. Cannon, J. Mustard, G. Osinski, H. Sapers, A. Pontefract, A. Bina
Impact-Induced microbial habitats: implications for biosignature preservation in Nili Fossae (20 min) H. Sapers, A. Pontefract, G. R. Osinski, K, Cannon, L. L. Tornabene, and J. Mustard
Summary of Key Points for Nili Fossae (5 min) K. Cannon
3:45 pm Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - Jezero Crater
Exploring the Volcanic, Alteration, Climate, and Fluvio-Lacustrine Record of Early Mars at Jezero Crater (40 min) T. Goudge
Deltas Provide a Multifaceted Record of Past Environmental Conditions (15 min) W. Fischer and R. Milliken
The Age of the Dark-Toned Floor Unit in Jezero Crater (15 min) K. Kinch and S. Shahrzad
4:55 pm Discussion
5:25 pm End of Day 1
  Thursday, February 9, 2017
Title Documents Author
8:30 am Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - Holden Crater
Paleohydrology and resurfacing history in Holden crater (40 min) R. Irwin and J. Wray
Tibet, an Experimental Training Facility and Analogue for the Holden Crater Landing Site (15 min) A. Angles
9:25 am Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites Eberswalde Crater
Deltas, Lakes, Megabreccia, and Giant Veins: Interrogating Geologic Diversity for a NASA 2020 Mission to Eberswalde Crater (20 min) M. Rice
Chronostratigraphy, Provenance, and Geologic Context of the Eberswalde System (15 min) N. Warner
Deltaic Evolution in the Large Closed Basin Eberswalde Crater Lake: Sedimentary Archives of Lake Level History, Habitability, and Biosignature Preservation (20 min) S. Gupta
Summary (5 min) M. Rice
10:25 am Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - NE Syrtis
NE Syrtis: The Key to Unlocking the First 0.5 GY of Mars’ History (40 min) J. Mustard, B. Ehlmann, M. Bramble, K. Cannon, J. Head, J. R. Skok, T. Goudge, and E. Amandor
NE Syrtis: Diverse and Long-Lived Habitable Environments across the Noachian- Hesperian Boundary (15 min) B. Ehlmann
Stratigraphy and Quantitative Mineralogy of NE Syrtis: Constraints on Hypothesis of Formation and Evolution of the Region (15 min) M. Bramble, J. Mustard, B. Ehlmann, and M. Salvatore
The Fluvial and Climatic History Recorded in the Northeast Syrtis Region of Mars (15 min) J. R. Skok
11:50 am Discussion
12:20 am - 1:45 pm Lunch
1:45 pm Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - Columbia Hills
Synergistic Analysis of Spirit and CRISM Data to Infer Mineralogy for Areas Accessible to the 2020 Rover in the Columbia Hills and Surroundings, Gusev Crater (15 min) R. E. Arvidson
Seeking Signs of Past Microbial Life in the Columbia Hills (15 min) S. Ruff, J. Farmer, J. Rice, and A. Longo
New Destinations in the Columbia Hills and Extended Mission Science in Gusev Crater (15 min) J. Rice Jr., S. Ruff, and A. Longo
Ubiquity, Diversity, and Preservation of Microbial Fabrics in Siliceous Hot Spring Deposits: Relevance to the Columbia Hills (15 min) K. Campbell, D. Guido, M. Van Kranendonk, J. Farmer, and F. Westall
First and Last Outposts: The Origin and Preservation of Life in Terrestrial and Martian Hydrothermal Fields (15 min) B. Damer
Diverse Igneous Geology in and around the Columbia Hills for Diverse Science Investigations (10 min) H. Nekvasil, S. Ruff, D. Lindsley, V. Hamilton, N. DiFrancesco, and F. McCubbin
The Legacy of Spirit: Mars 2020, the Columbia Hills and Public Engagement (10 min) A. Longo, J. Rice, and S. Ruff
3:20 pm Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - Mawrth Vallis
Overview and History of the Mawrth Vallis Region (15 min) F. Poulet
Detailed Description of Mineralogy and Stratigraphy (15 min) J. Bishop
Formation of the Clay Unit: Terrestrial Analogs and Link to Astrobiology (20 min) B. Horgan
The Landing Ellipse for Mars 2020 and Targets for the Surface Mission (20 min) D. Loizeau
4:30 pm Discussion of Final 8 Candidate Sites - Southwest Melas Landing Site
Geological context of Southwest Melas Basin (30 min) C. Quantin-Nataf, J. Davis, P. Grindrod, R. Williams, C. Weitz, L. Edgar and G. Dromart
Selecting the Sweet Spot: Sampling Strategies at Southwest Melas Basin (20 min) J. Davis, C. Quantin-Nataf, P. Grindrod, R. Williams, C. Weitz, L. Edgar and G. Dromart
5:20 pm Discussion
5:50 pm End of Day 2
  Friday, February 10, 2017
8:30 am Summary of Talks and Discussion of 8 Final Candidate Sites
10:00 am Community Ranking of Final 8 Candidate Landing Sites
~12:00 pm End of Day 3





Second Announcement

Dear Colleague:

The third landing site workshop for the 2020 Mars Rover mission will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, Monrovia, CA, on February 8-10, 2017. We are soliciting presentations on the science merits of the eight remaining candidate landing sites for the Mars 2020 mission (Table 1). Workshop logistics and a request for registration can be found at: http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/. The format will include oral presentations and general discussion of the eight remaining candidate landing sites.

Table 1. Eight Remaining Candidate Landing Sites for Mars 2020 Mission. Ellipse center point, elevation and ellipse size with the long axis oriented east-west.

Table 1

Additional information on the science of the eight candidate sites, including prior science presentations related to these and other candidate 2020 landing sites, and information on how the 2020 engineering constraints map to the eight candidate sites can be found at: http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/. An engineering pre-briefing teleconference of landing site safety, traversability and operations is being planned in January 2017 (details to follow). Presentations for each site will be coordinated by a single science spokesperson at the workshop who will be identified from those submitting relevant presentations.

Descriptions of the 2020 mission and a summary of NASA’s Mars exploration strategy are found at: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mars2020/, http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/, http://mars.nasa.gov/programmissions/overview/, and http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports.cfm.

The primary goal of the third workshop will be to further evaluate the 8 candidate landing sites that emerged from the second workshop and reduce the number of candidate sites remaining under consideration to three or four. Evaluations at the workshop will employ the framework provided by existing data for Mars (e.g., MRO), the science requirements of the 2020 mission, and a better understanding of the 2020 engineering requirements and traversability of the landing sites relative to these requirements. Presenters at the workshop are expected to make a comprehensive, persuasive talk on why a specific site is the right one for the 2020 mission and payload, including how and where the science objectives of the mission can be accomplished.

The 2020 project science group has adopted a set of science criteria for the 2020 landing site that will be posted at http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/ in advance of the workshop and that should be considered in developing the science potential of candidate sites: these criteria will be used to evaluate the relative merits of the sites at the end of the workshop.

Persons wishing to make a presentation at the workshop should submit the title of their talk to John Grant (grantj@si.edu) and Matt Golombek (mgolombek@jpl.nasa.gov) by January 13th, 2017. We anticipate that each site will be allotted approximately 1.5 hours for presentations plus initial discussion. The workshop program will be distributed in the third announcement that will posted shortly before the workshop.

Sites emerging from the workshop will continue to be considered in more detail by the 2020 Project, Mars Program, and the Science Community to further assess how they meet engineering constraints and science criteria. A fourth workshop is planned that would further narrow the list of sites under consideration.

All members of the scientific community are encouraged to participate in the Mars 2020 site selection process, as input from the science community is critical to identification of optimal landing sites for the mission. We look forward to your continued involvement in these activities!

Sincerely,
John Grant and Matt Golombek
Co-Chairs, Mars Landing Site Steering Committee

To download the full 2nd announcement for the 3rd 2020 Mars Rover Landing Site workshop

 

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