Analyzing Future Human Exploration Sites in Areas with Hydrated Sulfates on Mars
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHuman exploration missions to the surface of Mars have been a topic of interest for scientists around the world and determining landing sites for missions such as these is key. A landing site must meet certain requirements including: a large enough area and a smooth surface for a safe landing, the potential for scientific exploration, the presence of resources capable of sustaining a manned mission, etc. In this study, five areas located in different regions of Valles Marineris were analyzed using the aforementioned criteria. These areas were chosen based on data from related literature that shows locations where hydrated sulfates were detected. For each of the five areas, DTMs were found on the HiRISE database and GIS tools were used to measure the area and roughness of flat surfaces and create slope, aspect, and hillshade maps. From these maps, suitability maps were created showing the most ideal landing sites for each area. Based on the statistics of each map, Eos Chasma and Candor Chasma seem to be the most ideal candidate site due to the greater number of suitable landing sites determined by the criteria mentioned above.