Odyssey image
MSL Support

Data from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) aboard the Mars Odyssey orbiter is helping scientists choose a landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is NASA's next-generation rover spacecraft, due for launch in 2009.

MSL's mission is to collect Martian soil and rock samples and analyze them for organic compounds, looking for environmental conditions that could have supported microbial life now or in the past.

At the first MSL workshop, held May 31 - June 2, 2006, scientists identified 33 candidate sites (PDF) for further study. The sites are listed in priority order as set by the scientists at the workshop; the highest priority site is listed first. The order may change, however, as scientists study each site more closely.

ThumbnailNili Fossae Trough ThumbnailHolden Crater Fan
ThumbnailTerby Crater ThumbnailMarwth Vallis
ThumbnailEberswalde Crater ThumbnailGale Crater
ThumbnailWest Candor Chasma ThumbnailNorth Meridiani
ThumbnailJuventae Chasma ThumbnailNilo Syrtis
ThumbnailMelas Chasma ThumbnailE. Meridiani
Recent Updates:
  • 2006-07-28
    • Include the temperature range for Night IR mosaics and Night IR over Day IR overlay images in the image statistics.
  • 2006-07-21
    • Released thermal inertia mosaic and overlay for Nili Fossae Trough