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NASA to launch new rover to Mars in 2020

  • NASA announced on Tuesday it will send a new rover to Mars in 2020.

    The vehicle will be based on its Curiosity robot, which landed on the Red Planet in August.

    NASA expects to make use again of many of the technologies that have been successful in getting the one-ton spacecraft down into the huge equatorial bowl known as Gale Crater.

    The announcement was made at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, the world's largest annual gathering for Earth and planetary scientists.

    Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6. It is investigating Gale for signs that past environments could have supported microbial life in the past.

    Its major discovery so far has been that it touched down in an ancient river-bed system where water once flowed.