NASA's Newest Mars Rover Goes King Size
Spirit and Opportunity, NASA's first two Mars rovers, exceeded everyone's expectations. They lasted far longer and collected much more data than anyone had anticipated - NASA included. Now they've taken the wraps off their next Mars-cruising machine, and they're going big this time around.
Whereas the other two rovers' sizes fell somewhere between an RC car and a Power Wheels, the new rover, dubbed "Curiosity" will be closer to the size of a sub-compact car, and weighs in at nearly a ton.
As the video illustrates, the rover will be housed in a pod-like vehicle, and will make a powered descent into the atmosphere, eventually separating from the pod on the ground and then going about its data-collecting business. If all goes according to NASA's plan, the Curiosity should be touching down on Martian soil in 2013.