SpaceX plans to send the Starship to Mars and to land it there, tail first in a vertical position.

Unlike the Perseverance rover, which seems to be able to land on uneven terrain without the need for 100 Meters accurate location and by common sense and from the video, it seems that the landing site must be:

  1. In a very, VERY specific location.
  2. Fully leveled

How will it be done?

  1. Getting to the right location - will autocorrelation maneuvers during the descent will bring the spacecraft to the right location?
  2. How there will be a leveled surface for the spaceship to land? Will robots build it before?
  • $\begingroup$ I think a quick check of the photos of places where martian rovers have driven will show plenty of quite flat areas on Mars; dried lake beds etc. but I suppose they could always drop a scout rover from orbit to the surface first to verify a site with ground penetrating radar if they're worried about sinking in sand. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 10:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Checkout the NASA Podcast episode "Sticking the landing on mars" from 4.12.2020. It's not SpaceX specific but gives a lot of information about landing sites on mars and the technological consequences. $\endgroup$
    – user38235
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ It would be fairly cheap to release a bunch of GPS-clones into Mars orbit ahead of a landing to get accurate positioning. You don't need enough for full coverage initially, just to make sure you have 4 in sight from the your landing site at the critical time. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveLinton related: Would a GPS type system on Mars really need a ground station? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ This question makes assumptions about the landing surfaces required that are almost certainly incorrect. Details about the amount of surface variation Starship will tolerate aren't publicly known (and are likely highly subject to change given the primitive state of the landing gear being used in current testing), but there's no reason to expect it to require a perfectly flat surface. The stated positioning requirements are also unsupported. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 15:19


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