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NASA: New Mars Rover By 2020 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-i-want-it-now dept.
coondoggie writes "Looking to build on the great success and popularity of its current Mars Science Laboratory mission, NASA today announced plans to explore the red planet further, including launching another sophisticated robot rover by 2020 and widely expanding other Mars scientific projects. The plan to design and build a new Mars robotic science rover — which will mirror the technology employed with the current Curiosity rover — will advance the science priorities of the National Research Council's 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey (the report from the community and team of scientists that help NASA prioritize space missions) and further the research needed to send humans to the planet sometime around 2030, NASA said."
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NASA: New Mars Rover By 2020

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:02AM (#42188805)

    The biggest Government expenses are Medicare and the interest on the current debt - a lot of that debt is because of two very expensive useless wars. We could eliminate NASA completely and it would have a negligible effect on the US budget.

    Then there's the social costs which Neil DeGrasse Tyson has explained better than I ever could.

    Yeah, yeah yeah - Taxed Enough Already - blah blah blah. And I'm a tax and spend dreamer who still remembers when we, the US, sent people to the Moon and little kids wanted to be astronauts and not stupid things like: Wall Street parasites, ball players, hip hop stars or some other type of entertainer.

  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:25AM (#42188913) Homepage

    It's more cost effective if they make it to their destination. Keep in mind we are still at the "will it explode?" and "if it doesn't explode, will it avoid crashing?" and "if it doesn't crash, will it keep working?" part of the technology. So if the Mars rover works out, that's great, and in fact is a valuable enough confirmation to justify trying to do something similar again.

    But it's really better right now to have each rover be a stepping stone to the next. The sort of answers Curiosity gives us will tell us the sort of questions we want to design the next rover to resolve.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:35AM (#42189221) Journal

    As a country, the US stopped giving a shit a very long time ago.

    The U.S. general public has never cared about space exploration; the public has only cared about beating someone else. Want to get a team of U.S. astronauts on Mars by 2019? Convince the Chinese government to announce to the world that they intend to land humans on Mars by 2020.

    I guarantee you that if the Chinese said they planned to establish permanent settlements on Mars in ten years, the U.S. government would move Heaven and Earth to get us there sooner, and they would succeed. Getting to Mars is easy. Convincing the bureaucrats that it is more important than building their little war machines to blow up countries with oil is hard.

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