A few of you may remember the Mars Rover that landed a little bit ago? Well NASA plans on landing two of these on Mars in 2020! Over at Wired.com, Adam Mann reports that, ” Such a sample-return mission has long been a dream of the planetary science community since it would allow them to conduct experiments that would be impossible on Mars.” Recently announced at a conference, NASA stated that the next rover is built out of Curiosity’s spare parts, but both rovers will feature new tools being paid for with NASA’s shiny $1.5 billion new budget leading up to the launch in 2020. The biggest technology that the scientists want to be on the next mission is one where there rovers would be able to carry and bring back samples for NASA to study.
While this is exciting news, several scientists are complaining about how NASA seems to be obsessed with Mars when they could be spending money to visit Saturn and its moons or Mercury. Curiosity ran over budget, reaching $2.5 billion, and was delayed two years, so the scientific community is torn with this decision. No other new missions have been announced, so NASA seems to have put all it’s eggs in one basket.
Do you think that NASA should branch out with their explorations and projects? Or should they keep pursuing Mars?