Abstract Mars is the only extraterrestrial body which could host primitive lifeforms and also has the potential to host a human base in the near future. Towards fulfilling these objectives, several remote sensing missions and rover based missions have been sent to Mars. Still, confirmation of existing or extinct life on this planet in any form has not been achieved and possibly human missions at selected sites in the future are the key to addressing this problem. Here, we have used remote sensing data from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO; NASA), Mars Global Surveyor (MGS; NASA), Mars Odyssey (NASA) and Mars Express (MEX; ESA) to devise an exploration strategy for one such area known as Hebrus Valles, which is a potential site for human exploration of the surface of Mars. A geological context map of the Hebrus Valles and Hephaestus Fossae region has been prepared and a candidate landing site has been proposed in the Hebrus Valles region. Suitable rover paths have been worked out from the proposed landing site for harnessing the science and resource potential of the region. The proposed landing site is located in the equatorial region at (20° 40′ N, 126° 23′ E) and due to its proximity to the Potential Subsurface Access Candidates (PSACs) in the region, such as sinkholes and skylights and also other resources such as crater ejecta, silicate material and fluvial channels, the site is appropriate for exploration of the region.
Keywords planets and satellites: individual (Mars) — planets and satellites: surfaces
It accepts original submissions from all over the world and is internationally published and distributed by IOP