Ken Farley, project scientist for Mars 2020 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said: "The Mars community has long coveted the scientific value of sites such as Jezero Crater, and a previous mission contemplated going there, but the challenges with safely landing were considered prohibitive". The 45-km-wide site was once filled with water and features rich geology that could tell scientists a lot of things about the planet's troubled history.
The North American Space Agency says it will launch the uncrewed robot, about the size of a auto, in July 2020 to explore the Red Planet.
NASA spent the past five years to examine some 60 sites on Mars and decide which one would be the best landing site for its upcoming mission. Jezero means "lake" in Serbian.
At least five different kinds of rocks, including "clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life", are believed to lie in the crater, just north of the Martian equator, the U.S. space agency said in a statement.
It will examine the planet for signs covering whether it was ever habitable and analyse the surface and beneath for ancient microbial life.
"Mars is really the obvious place, after the Moon, to go and expand our presence in deep space", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's science mission directorate.
NASA Picks Landing Spot for 2020 Mars Rover
The Jezero crater once housed the delta of a river. "Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life".
NASA revealed that there has always been an interest to explore Jezero Crater.
Earlier in November, ExoMars rover - the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Roscosmos's joint venture to the Red Planet that will set out in 2020 - also chose a landing site on Mars's equator called Oxia Planum, which had in the prehistoric era housed a massive pool of water.
There are various factors that NASA needed to consider while choosing an arrival site. TRN will enable the "sky crane" descent stage, the rocket-powered system that carries the rover down to the surface, to avoid hazardous areas.
But Jezero came out a victor as it offers promising sampling targets of at least five kinds of rock, including clays and carbonates that have high potential to preserve signatures of past life, as revealed by NASA in a press statement. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander created to study the "inner space" of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core. Mars 2020 will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.