Spare parts will be used to build next Mars rover
SAN FRANCISCO — NASA plans to follow up its Mars rover Curiosity mission with a duplicate rover that could collect and store samples for return to Earth, the agency's lead scientist said on Tuesday.
The rover will use spare parts and engineering models developed for Curiosity, four months into the $2.5 billion, two-year mission on Mars to look for habitats that could have supported microbial life.
Replicating the rover's chassis, sky-crane landing system and other gear will enable NASA to cut the cost of the new mission to about $1.5 billion, said John Grunsfeld, the space agency's associate administrator for science, said Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
Budget shortfalls forced NASA to pull out of a series of joint missions with Europe, designed to return rock and soil samples from Mars in the 2020s. Europe, instead, will partner with Russia for the launch vehicle and other equipment that was to have been provided by NASA.
Grunsfeld said NASA will provide a key organics experiment for Europe's ExoMars rover, as well as engineering and mission support under the agency's proposed budget for the year beginning Oct. 1.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Social Security benefits to go up by 1.7 percent
- Still reeling from fire, FAA pushes changes
- North Korean detainee reunites with family in Ohio
- Biden’s son Hunter under no bar review after Navy Reserve discharge for cocaine use
- Over 3 years, extended federal leave adds up to $775M
- Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others
- Alleged trooper killer may have been seen Friday
- Expert: Stress level rises for Americans who forfeit vacation
- Archaeologists sift through Everglades muck for history
- 5 airports to handle all U.S.-bound travelers from Ebola-stricken nations
- Ex-NSA chief drops deal with former aide to avoid appearance of conflict