Mars. Credit: NASA.

Building on the success of Curiosity’s Red Planet landing, NASA announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020. The plan to design and build a new Mars robotic science rover brings a total of seven NASA missions operating or being planned to study and explore our Earth-like neighbor.
The 2020 mission will constitute another step toward being responsive to high-priority science goals and the president’s challenge of sending humans to Mars orbit in the 2030s. The future rover development and design will be based on the Mars Science Laboratory architecture that successfully carried the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface this summer. This next rover mission ensures America remains the world leader in the exploration of the Red Planet while taking another significant step toward sending humans there in the 2030s.