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Perseverance rover: How NASA found the ideal hole on Mars to land in

Jezero crater, the destination of NASA's Perseverance rover, is a promising place to look for evidence of extinct Martian life.

July 30, 2020 / 04:35 PM IST

Sixteen years ago, Caleb Fassett, then a graduate student at Brown University, spotted an intriguing hole in the ground on Mars.

Mars today is cold and dry, but it was not always that way. Here was one of the places with clear signs that liquid water flowed when the planet was warmer and wetter.

The image, taken by NASA’s Odyssey orbiter, showed a sinuous dried-up river channel leading into one side of the crater. On the other side of the crater, part of the rim has collapsed, as if it had been swept away by flowing water.

In between these two features was a large circular depression.