Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

OUT OF THIS WORLD - USGS Maps to Guide Mars 2020 Mission

Detailed Description

When you’re planning to explore someplace new, it’s always a good idea to bring a map so you can avoid dangerous terrain. This is true whether you’re heading out for a hike on Earth or you’re landing a rover on Mars! When NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars in 2021, it will be equipped with the most precise maps of Mars ever created, courtesy of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center.


Safe Landing

USGS maps will help the Mars 2020 spacecraft steer itself to a safe landing near an ancient river delta, the ideal spot to search for evidence of past life.


Guide Rover Exploration

The Perseverance rover will help unlock the mysteries of the red planet's history and guide future missions. USGS created this high-precision map of the Mars 2020 landing site in Jezero crater, continuing our long history of helping to explore our solar system.



Background: An artist's concept of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attempts its first test flight on the Red Planet, the agency's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will be close by. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Left: Mars 2020 Terrain Relative Navigation HiRISE Orthorectified Image Mosaic. USGS

Right: Global color coverage of Mars at a scale of 1 km/pixel. NASA/JPL/USGS


Learn more at

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Geological Survey


Public Domain.