This image samples the smooth plains
within one of the areas being considered for setting down China’s lander and rover, expected to launch in 2020.
While smooth on large scales, HiRISE reveals small-scale roughness elements, including craters, boulders, and other features. Such hazards may be avoided by using “terminal hazard avoidance,” a technology China has demonstrated on the Moon.
Utopia Planitia may have been extensively resurfaced by mud flows, so it is an interesting place to investigate potential past subsurface habitability. ID
: 27 December 2019 altitude
: 288 km
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