art_afrodiziak (art_afrodiziak) wrote,

Curiosity rover is turning point for Mars exploration

THE next Mars landing will be worth making time to watch. It may be the last of its kind.

Scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet on 5 August via a nail-bitingly intricate, autonomous procedure, NASA's Curiosity rover will undertake an unprecedented two-year hunt for signs of alien life. Costing $2.5 billion, Curiosity - known formally as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - is the biggest, boldest, most expensive Mars mission ever attempted.

It is also the last of a dying breed. Fresh austerity at NASA, combined with a host of nations with new, spacefaring ambitions and a nascent commercial space industry, mean that Mars exploration post-Curiosity looks set to become smaller-scale, more innovative and a lot more international. "It's looking like MSL is going to be a one-of-a-kind rover," says Ryan Anderson, a member of the Curiosity team.

The moment may be bittersweet for NASA, but ...
12 Aug, 2012
Tags: nasa, космос, марс

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