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Fraser
2010-Sep-16, 05:00 PM
NASA’s next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida in late 2011, and arrive at a yet undecided region of Mars in August 2012. The goal of Curiosity is to assess whether Mars ever had an environment capable of supporting microbial life and conditions favorable [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/73762/5-things-about-the-next-mars-rover/)

Canis Lupus
2010-Sep-16, 10:37 PM
5. Rover Power: A nuclear battery will enable Curiosity to operate year-round and farther from the equator than would be possible with only solar power.

I'd love one of these! Where are they selling - Walmart?

Ronald Brak
2010-Sep-17, 12:19 AM
I'd love one of these! Where are they selling - Walmart?

You can make your own with a thermocouple and an old x-ray machine. (Note this is illegal if you live in a society.)

Ronald Brak
2010-Sep-17, 12:29 AM
It doesn't appear to have instrumentation to determine if the mars methane is the result of biological processes or not, which is a pity.

It does have a laser that can vapourize rock samples. While this will no doubt less effective than the huge Gatling style machine guns mounted on the mars rovers in the movie Armageddon, it should still get the job done.