Jezero's Hazard Map
The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will rely on data depicted in this Hazard Map to help guide it to a safe landing. Landing hazards are depicted in red; safer areas are colored blue and green. To select the best location to touch down while avoiding damage to the rover, the spacecraft's Terrain-Relative Navigation system will take images of the terrain below as Perseverance descends through the atmosphere. Computers aboard the rover will then compare these images with its onboard map — the best ever created for a space mission — and adjust course as needed.
Terrain-Relative Navigation has enabled the mission to select Jezero Crater as its landing site. Scientists believe an ancient river flowed into a lake there and deposited sediments in a fan shape known as a delta. Such an environment was likely to have preserved signs of any life that gained a foothold billions of years ago. But while the region has high astrobiological potential, it is also very hazardous, with dunes, cliffs and boulder-strewn areas that pose a huge challenge for landing.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.
For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.