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Next Mars rover set to launch in 2020

Posted on Monday, 15 July, 2013 | Comment icon 5 comments

Image credit: NASA

NASA's next Mars rover is aiming to determine whether or not life ever existed on the Red Planet.

The new rover will be based primarily on the design of Curiosity and is tentatively set for a 2020 launch. By reusing the landing system and spare parts from the previous rover the new project is likely to cost around $1.5 billion. The mission will be aimed at determining if life ever existed on Mars and will even collect samples of rocks and soil for return to Earth so that they can be studied in detail.

One point of contention however is that the rover will not be looking for signs that life still exists on Mars today. Astrobiologists have expressed their annoyance at what they perceive to be another missed opportunity. "It is the same old depressing story of NASA vetoing any proposal to do biological experiments on Mars," said Paul Davies of Arizona State University. "I personally think this is absurd."

"NASA’s next mission to Mars could potentially determine whether or not life once inhabited the Red Planet - or even currently still does."

  View: Full article |  Source: Science Recorder

  Discuss: View comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 15 July, 2013, 14:51
Hopefully standard biohazard quarantine procedures will suffice should and Martian life be found and brought to Earth, even though such life might find Earth conditions hostile.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Rhino666 on 15 July, 2013, 18:39
Just stop buggering about and send someone up there.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 July, 2013, 18:52
Yes because that will be cheap and easy won't it. Oh wait a minute, it will be the most expensive scientific undertaking in human history, we don't know how to protect the crew against radiation yet. We don't know if the medical conditions (such as bone loss and eye sight problems) will be too serious to over come. Oh, and no government in the world is currently prepared (or able) to fund a project that will make going to the moon look like a trip to the seaside. If you think that the research that NASA, Roscosmos and the other space agencies are doing to ensure that they don&... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Darkwind on 16 July, 2013, 19:07
Robots are fine for now. I agree with Waspie we are not ready for a manned trip. This will be a lot tricker than the moon.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 17 July, 2013, 4:54
For those whom may not know, the following song was part of a NASA/JPL animation(and some actual footage, not much) regarding a mission to Mars. I think on YouTube it's entitled "30 seconds to Mars" Thought I may share the full tune...

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