Panel: Next Mars Rover Should Gather Rocks, Soil

3:32 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
A true-color panorama taken by the Curiosity rover on Mars.(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - A NASA-appointed team says the next rover sent to Mars should collect rocks and dirt and store them so that a later mission can return them to Earth.

The team's report posted online Tuesday describes recommended science goals for the mission slated to launch in 2020.

NASA last year said it planned to launch another rover to the red planet following the success of Curiosity, which made a dramatic touchdown near the Martian equator last August.

To keep costs down, engineers will recycle spare parts where possible and use the same landing technology that delivered Curiosity to the surface.

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