According to the answer for this question, that was not accepted, alluvial fans might have water and thus a IVc category mission would be required to visit such an area.

Curiosity meets only the IVa category criteria and thus would not be allowed to enter an alluvial fan. Only a IVc category mission is allowed to enter a special region, the definition of which is further clarified and updated in this report.

Special regions are defined there as areas within which sufficient water activity may exist, among other criteria, and alluvial fans are not mentioned.

According to these criteria, alluvial fans should not be considered special in comparison to other regions, for instance because they both have frozen water in the subsurface.
See also Appendix B about MEPAG findings, revisions and updates.

So are Peace Vallis and it's alluvial fan classified or do they have the conditions to be classified as special regions or not ?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ IFL Science: There Are Regions On Mars That It's Forbidden To Explore $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 8, 2018 at 4:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think curiosity does not have science equipment to study life forms. So why bring to alluvial fans? I doubt the science return of such decision. Moreover, just because it is not provably special region, NASA wouldnt want to exploit the fact I guess. $\endgroup$
    – zephyr0110
    Apr 8, 2018 at 10:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Very interesting article, why don't you go for an answer ? $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Apr 9, 2018 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Prakhar Curiosity is not allowed to study life forms but it can do investigations on sediments and minerals and geological characteristics. $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Conelisinspace I'm out of my depth when it comes to NASA's exobiology projects. There are others who can write a good answer, and if you find what you are looking for it's certainly quite alright for you to post an answer to your own question and accept it. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 9, 2018 at 15:24


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