Future missions to Mars seem unlikely due to large budget cuts to NASA's planetary budget.
Missions slated for 2016 and 2018 have been cancelled while the eagerly anticipated mission to retrieve rocks and soil from Mars and fly them back to Earth has been indefinately postponed. "We're really at a crossroads," said NASA planetary sciences chief Jim Green. Mars researchers are planning to meet in an effort to discuss how they might be able to save the program beyond the 2013 Curiosity mission.
"NASA will skip the 2016 launch opportunity and if officials are lucky, they hope still to salvage something relatively cheap for 2018, when Mars passes closest to Earth."
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