Scientists have chosen a robot mission to Mars that will look for signs of alien life.
The ExoMars Rover will be ruined in space in 2010, but will not be placed on the Red Planet until March 2021 and drilled on its surface to seek out any evidence of life that might have existed.
Experts working on a joint European and Russian project have opted for an area called Oxia Planum, as it is believed that this place once contained plenty of water for billions of years.
Click on the sun more
The other main contender was Mawrth Vallis – a canal, which formed a huge flood between the southern mountains and the northern lowlands.
Armenia Dorsuma, located at the height of the Arabian Terra, north of the Crommelin Crater, also had a list of options.
It is expected that the decision will be formally approved next year, when signed by the project supervisors.
A member of the University of Leicester, Professor John Bridges, said that after four years of careful research, the site was lifted because its fine sediments would be perfectly suited for rover boreholes.
He said: "With huge reservoir sediments a long-term organic matter diversity from a variety of environments, even in areas where life could have existed.
"A large group of scientists has been working to offer, characterize and identify the selection of sites, all of which have fascinating aspects, but Oxia Planum is a clear winner in both scientific and engineering constraints."
The area also contains layers of clay-enriched minerals, indicating a massive lake location.
It is hoped that the rover will drop two meters below the surface of the planet to indicate that the planet's life was about four billion years, when there was water on the planet.
Jorge Vago, an ExoMars project scientist with the European Space Agency (ESA), said: "With ExoMars, we are looking for biological signatures.
"Although both places have valuable scientific expertise to explore the old water-rich environments that could have colonized micro-organisms, Oxia Planum received the largest number of votes."
In the past, it turned out that the robot was delivered to Mars, so it was up to the choise to rethink where the most probable objects were against the ability to actually land the ship in that area.
It is believed that the low Oxia Planum area will provide more time for the paratrooper to take the robot to the surface.
ESA Space Exploration Head Sue Horne said: "Our ultimate goal is to be seen and it's getting very exciting."
This story originally appeared on The Sun.