The lab that fostered Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity needs more money. NASA’s Mars Science Lab has burned through its reserves.
NASA’s next-generation Mars rover, Curiosity, reportedly needs another $82 million to complete testing before liftoff.
Other cost overruns and developmental problems have already delayed its launch by two years.
NASA has told its advisory council it’ll need a total of $2.5 billion to launch the nuclear-powered rover. That’s the most expensive Mars mission yet.
Space agency officials hope the Mars Science Lab – housed in a rover the size of a small SUV - will be able to determine whether the planet was or is able to sustain life. Curiosity is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral in November.