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Exploring Gusev Crater with spirit: Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses

Cabrol, Nathalie A. and Grin, Edmond A. and Carr, Michael H. and Sutter, Brad and Moore, Jeffrey M. and Farmer, Jack D. and Greeley, Ronald and Kuzmin, Ruslan O. and DesMarais, DavidJ. and Kramer, Marc G. and Newsom, Horton and Barber, Charles and Thorsos, Ivan and Tanaka, Kenneth L. and Barlow, Nadine G. and Fike, David A. and Urquhart, Mary L. and Grigsby, Brian and Grant, Frederick D. and de Goursac, Olivier (2003) Exploring Gusev Crater with spirit: Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 108 (E12). ISSN 0148-0227


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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2002JE002026


Gusev Crater was selected as the landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit mission. Located at the outlet of Ma'adim Vallis and 250 km south of the volcano Apollinaris Patera, Gusev is an outstanding site to achieve the goals of the MER mission. The crater could have collected sediments from a variety of sources during its 3.9 Ga history, including fluvial, lacustrine, volcanic, glacial, impact, regional and local aeolian, and global air falls. It is a unique site to investigate the past history of water on Mars, climate and geological changes, and the potential habitability of the planet, which are central science objectives of the MER mission. Because of its complex history and potential diversity, Gusev will allow the testing of a large spectrum of hypotheses with the complete suite of MER instruments. Evidence consistent with long-lived lake episodes exist in the landing ellipse area. They might offer a unique opportunity to study, for the first time, Martian aqueous sediments and minerals formed in situ in their geological context. We review the geological history and diversity of the landing site, the science hypotheses that can be tested during the MER mission, and the relevance of Gusev to the MER mission objectives and payload.

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: © 2003 The American Geophysical Union.
ID number or DOI: 10.1029/2002JE002026
Keywords: Mars Exploration Rover; Gusev Crater; MER; Apollinaris Patera; Spirit rover
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > Physics and Astronomy
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 16:44
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/921

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