Observatoire de Paris Institut national de recherche scientifique français Univerité Pierre et Marie Curie Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7

The Mars 2020 and ExoMars landing sites from an orbital perspective

lundi 1er février 2021, par Lucia Mandon (LESIA)

Lundi 1er février 2021 à 16h00 , Lieu : En visioconférence

The exploration of Mars will soon be marked by a historic turning point, with the in situ investigation of two sites of Noachian age, the most primitive era of Mars. The selected landing sites, Jezero crater (Mars 2020 mission, NASA) and Oxia Planum (ExoMars mission, ESA/Roscosmos), exhibit from orbital data evidences for a hydrous past as well as good astrobiological potentials.

This talk will focus on the lessons learned from the geology of these sites and what constrains it can provide on the early history of Mars. In particular, we will present one of the most extensive geological units on the Mars 2020 landing site, the olivine and carbonate unit. We suggest a pyroclastic origin for these deposits and date their emplacement. This age will be useful to help calibrate the Martian chronology in the events of the Mars Sample Return mission. While the ExoMars landing site appears spectrally homogeneous from orbit, we show that there is textural, compositional, and mineralogical diversity at high resolution within the clays present at the site, which are the primary targets of the mission.