NASA Eyeing Landing Site for 2016 Mars Mission

NASA is leaning toward one particularly smooth patch of terrain just north of the Martian equator as the landing site for its next robotic Red Planet explorer.
The site lies at about 4 degrees north latitude and 136 degrees east longitude, agency officials said. It’s the leading candidate for NASA’s InSight Mars lander, which is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and touch down on the Red Planet in late September of that year.
“This is wondrous terrain, exactly what we want to land on because it is smooth, flat, with very few rocks in the highest-resolution images,” InSight’s site-selection leader, Matt Golombek of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement.