Mars rover Curiosity, which is exploring the red planet Mars, carries one of the biggest successes of U.S. space agency NASA. After the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars on August 5, NASA announced on 20 August that it will send a new mission to Mars in 2016. Three months later the space agency announced on December 4 that it plans to send another new “robotic science rover” to Mars in 2020.
The development and design of this futuristic rover that is planning to be sent to Mars in 2020 will be based on Curiosity. This rover will be a robust multi-year Mars exploration program.
NASA’s associate administrator for science, and astronaut John Grunsfeld said in a statement, “The new rover’s going to be based on the (Curiosity) chassis, and it’s really building on the tremendous success of the engineering of Curiosity. It will have new instruments.”
The mission in 2020 is estimated to cost about US$1.5 billion (£900 million), which is US$1 billion less than Curiosity’s price tag. However, through this new announcement NASA revealed that it is participating (already participated in two) in seven Mars missions:
- The Curiosity (landed in 2012) and Opportunity (landed in 2004) rovers
- The 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) orbiter to study the Martian upper atmosphere
- The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) Participation in ESA’s 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions
- The new rover to launch in 2020
That’s not all. According to NASA administrator Charles Bolden, if NASA successfully executes the mission in 2020, the space agency will take “another significant step toward sending humans there (mars) in the 2030.”
Source : NASA