NASA's Curiosity Rover Will Inspect 96-Mile Gale Crater In August 2012

Illustration for article titled NASA's Curiosity Rover Will Inspect 96-Mile Gale Crater In August 2012

Houston, we have a destination! After much design, testing and budget-wrangling, the NASA Curiosity Rover now "knows" where it will land and explore come August 2012. The crater is called Gale, and it's a promising site for water and life.

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Mostly water though, as the features found in and around the 96-mile-wide crater were believed to have been formed by water.

Signs of life, past or present, would be the indescribably awesome gravy covering all other potential discoveries at the site. [USA Today Image: AFP/Getty Images]

DISCUSSION

Years ago NASA did a study which re imagined the non maned flight part of NASA. One of its top conclusions was that the probes should be cheaper and more plentiful with some standardization between projects. This project costs over 2.5 billion, NASA is back to its bad habits. What if the rocket that launches it gets it wrong? Where is the protection against all the planing and potential science going down the drain?

NASA should spend 2.5 billion on 100 rovers that all have a standard scientific package. My guess is, you would get far more quality science from that approach over this big is better approach. I hope it all works out, but, in this case more will be less.