WASHINGTON — NASA will launch a large rover toward Mars in 2020 as part of what the agency characterized as a “robust” multiyear program to explore the red planet.
The new rover will be based on the design of the car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover, dubbed Curiosity, which successfully landed on the planet in August, NASA said in a Dec. 4 press release. The estimated cost of the Curiosity mission is $2.5 billion.
“This will ensure mission costs and risks are as low as possible, while still delivering a highly capable rover with a proven landing system,” NASA said in the press release. “The mission will constitute a vital component of a broad portfolio of Mars exploration missions in development for the coming decade.”