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This Is the Next Mars Rover

Illustration for article titled This Is the Next Mars Rover

I want to ride the Mars Rover Curiosity. Sure, at a maximum of 90 meters (300 feet) per hour it would be a glacial ride, but the bloody thing is going to Mars. Where have I been lately? To the dog park two blocks from my house, that's where. Plus, there's no dog poop on Mars.

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Illustration for article titled This Is the Next Mars Rover

But besides going to Mars, Curiosity will do science like never before. It will probably give us a definitive answer to a question that has been haunting the sleep of scientists, sci-fi writers and amazing singers with a permanently dilated pupil for decades: Is there life on Mars? Curiosity will also study the planet's geology in incredible depth, thanks to new instrumentation that would be able to study the core of rocks. And, equipped with the highest resolution cameras ever deployed in the Red Planet, it will take amazing high definition planet porn (sadly, the 3D camera championed by James Cameron was canned).

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But besides all the outstanding technology, this thing just looks like a great machine. It's also huge: At 3 meters, it's double the length of the Mars Exploration Rovers. It also has five times the weight of the rovers and more than double the weight of the Phoenix Mars Lander: 900 kilograms.

It's so big that it needs a freaking floating crane to land.

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Curiosity is almost finished and, along with the floating crane and the rest of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, it should be packed and send to Florida next month. There, it will get readied to be launched on November 25. I won't reach Mars until August 6, 2012. I will biting my nails all those months. [Boing Boing and Jet Propulsion Laboratory]

Photo credit: Joseph Linaschke

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DISCUSSION

llpancholl-old
llPANCHOll

Amazing... this method of releasing the rover via the rocket powered crane is astounding.

Oh and BTW Gizmodo.. I have known of AdBlocker for some time now, but I have never installed it, most sites that I visit dont bombard me with advertising. I stopped visiting your site after then redesign, I occasional return but I dont read every post as I did before. Reading this article I remembered adblocker and installed it.. No more obtrusive ads for me... I dont mind ads, they create revenue, but there is a tasteful way to earn revenue.. You dont put ads in the body of the article, its rude. Now you have forced me to turn them off completely.