Despite having their budget cut to the bare bones NASA is still determined to go where no man has gone before, or in this case send a rover where no rover has gone before.
November 25th will see NASA launch their new rover mission to Mars. The new car sized robot called Curiosity will launch with an eye to land in August 2012. At 10 metres long and weighing in at 1 tonne this is the largest rover ever to go up into space as part of the mars missions.
Onboard the rover will be a 7ft mast which will carry cameras and laser firing equipment which will enable the robot to carry out a variety of tasks, or for a more personal approach it has a 7ft fitted arm to examine soil and rock samples.
It is being sent to Mars to further investigate the possibility of Mars one day being habitable. The sorts of experiments it will carry out while on the surface of the red planet will include studying soil and rock composition, gather weather information and test the radiation levels of the surface.
This experiment will lead the way to a manned mission to Mars in the future but also try to answer questions scientists have always wanted to know, the main one being whether life every existed on Mars.