Is it really the goal to build just another MSL or I simply miss the goal of the mission?
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NASA To Launch Curiosity-sized Mars Rover in 2020
WASHINGTON — NASA will launch a large rover toward Mars in 2020 as part of what the agency characterized as a “robust” multiyear program to explore the red planet.
The new rover will be based on the design of the car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover, dubbed Curiosity, which successfully landed on the planet in August, NASA said in a Dec. 4 press release. The estimated cost of the Curiosity mission is $2.5 billion.
“This will ensure mission costs and risks are as low as possible, while still delivering a highly capable rover with a proven landing system,” NASA said in the press release. “The mission will constitute a vital component of a broad portfolio of Mars exploration missions in development for the coming decade.”
I think that NASA would say that the mission will have different science objectives than MSL. This wouldn't be the first time that NASA has used Mars flight spares to cobble together a mission very different from the original. Have a look at Debra Werner's story from the AGU meeting in San Francisco; NASA intends to start mapping science obejctives immediately and issue instrument solicitations next summer.
The point is that they didn't come up with this mission because there's a specific scientific interest it's going to serve, they just came up with it for the sake of sending another rover to Mars and now they are trying to give it some sense.
They should figure out what they actually want to gain and then do whatever it takes. Anything else is just wasting money, and more importantly time.
Some people in the White House must think that copying what has already been done before is some how innovation. It might work in law school but in the technology development and advanced research field it its mediocre at best.