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Ars Technica: NASA announces the instruments for the next Mars rover
2014-07-31 4:31pm -07:00T Visit Ars Technica


Outtake:

This is Curiosity, but physically, Mars 2020 will look quite similar.

When NASA announced its plans for future explorations of Mars, there was a sense of disappointment in some quarters, since it featured a rover much like Curiosity. But NASA made clear that it was only using the proven technology of the vehicle itself; the instruments it carried would be all new, and shaped by both the advancement of technology and the experience of past missions.

Today NASA announced exactly what instruments the mission—currently called Mars 2020— will carry. They included hardware capable of making a more directed search for organic chemicals on the red planet, which could be evidence that life existed there in the past. And it will also carry an experiment designed to test our ability to produce oxygen for future manned explorations of Mars. The rover will also gather and cache samples to be picked up and returned to Earth by a future mission.

NASA had received nearly 60 proposals for instruments to fly on the Mars 2020 mission. From that list, it has selected seven, which it expects will cost a total of...

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