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The road less expensive: NASA redrawing map to Mars

Mars rover Curiosity

NASA/Paul E. Alers

A model of the Curiosity, NASA's mobile robotic laboratory

Forced into a less scenic route by budgetary constraints, NASA announced that it will be redrawing its map to Mars to cut down on mission costs.

With the intention of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s -- and a quicker goal of returning Martian soil and rock samples to Earth --  the space agency issued a call to arms of brains, asking scientists and engineers on this planet to come forward with robotic mission ideas.

A collaboration with European collegues to bring back the far out samples was aborted by NASA earlier this year due to budget cuts. 

Hoping for a determination by summer, a new team is being formed to assess idea proposals, mission priorities, and options.

NASA recently hit another rough turn when it issued a startling report in March detailing a universe of trouble in the agency's security department.