A Possible Landing Site for the ExoMars Rover in Aram Dorsum
A Possible Landing Site for the ExoMars Rover in Aram Dorsum
ESP_040881_1880  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
This image is part of a proposed landing site for the ExoMars Rover, planned for launch in 2018.

We can see how an upper layers of light toned sediments have been eroded, leaving a lower surface which appears dark. The retreating sediment scarp slopes would be an important target for the rover if it ends up going to Aram Dorsum.

The retreating scarps will be relatively recent compared to the ancient age of the terrain. That means that organic compounds—which is what ExoMars is designed to drill to 2 meters depth and analyze—will not have been exposed to the full effects of solar and galactic radiation for their entire history. Such radiation can break down organic compounds. Prior to this later erosion, the rocks formed in the ancient, Noachian era as alluvial deposits of fine grained sediment.

Written by: John Bridges (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (29 July 2015)
Acquisition date
16 April 2015

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
275.0 km (170.9 miles)

Original image scale range
29.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon

Solar longitude
327.1°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  332.5°
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Black and white
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non-map           (702MB)

IRB color
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Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
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RGB color
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.