NASA’s next-generation mission Mars 2020 is a focus on astrobiology or the study of life throughout the universe. Scientists of NASA Mars 2020 rover have discovered one of the best places that can hint researchers with signs of ancient life in the Jezero crater, as the rover lands on February 18, 2021.

Scientists have identified deposits of carbonate minerals along the inner rim of the crater in their study published in the Journal, Icarus. Carbonates play an integral role in fossilization on Earth as they contribute by forming structures that sustain the fossils for billions of years.

As a prime scientific hunting ground, scientists have identified Jezero’s shoreline since the stromatolite-like structures may exist there. NASA’s Curiosity rover had already found the parts of Mars that could have supported microbial life billions of years ago. In another research published in the Geophysical Research Letters, scientists have found a rich deposit of hydrated silica on the edge of an ancient river Delta.

The Mars 2020 rover will launch in July or August from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Mars 2020 Project at JPL manages rover development for the Scientific Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.