An area inside Holden crater was considered as a landing site for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. If Holden had been selected, rather than Gale crater, the mission's rover, Curiosity, would have been sent to land on the broad alluvial fans flanking the western wall of the crater. The rover would have traversed down to study underlying and finely layered rocks that may have been deposited in a lake.
The left panel shows the regional context of the Holden target landing ellipse with colors representing the elevation of the surface features (purple lowest and red highest). The yellow box indicates the location of the feature shown in the center panel. The white box indicates the location of the feature shown in the right panel. The scale bars in each panel indicate distance in kilometers.
The middle panel shows an example of a high priority science targets for exploration near the ellipse, and the right column shows science targets within the ellipse (white box in left column shows the location of each). Holden and each of the three of three finalist Mars Science Laboratory landing sites display a variety of very interesting targets for exploration within and outside of the proposed landing ellipse.
The images in the middle and right panels are from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the High Resolution Science Imaging Experiment. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.