Monday, November 17, 2008

MSL landing site down selection

Summarized from

"On November 5, 2008, representatives of the MSL project management, engineering, and science teams met along with members of the external MSL landing site steering committee and selected review board members to discuss the engineering assessment of landing safety, basic traversability, and the current status of predicted actuator thermal performance, in order to combine this information with the science rankings from the 3rd Community Workshop recommended to the PSG. Based on assessment over the
past months, the project resources and timeline allow only 3 or 4 sites to have the full data acquisition and detailed analyses required for final approval by next spring."

"Therefore the final 4 sites selected for further analysis are:
Mawrth (ellipse placement #2)

This is based on a science prioritization of:

Group 1: Holden, Eberswalde, Gale
Group 2: Mawrth, Nili
Group 3: Miyamoto, S. Meridiani

And an engineering prioritization of:

Group 1: Holden, Gale, Mawrth
Group 2: Eberswalde (risk still fairly low for portions of ellipse surveyed, but potential high slopes and
rock coverage issues in remainder of ellipse)
“Group 2.5”: Nili [with some discussion that the site may be outside the engineering limits altogether]

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