New Rover Won't Hit Mars Until 2011

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2008 3:57 PM CST
Mesas in the Nilosyrtis Mensae region of Mars. The image was taken as part of a campaign to examine more than two dozen candidate landing sites for the NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – NASA is delaying the launch of its next Mars rover, which is significantly larger and more complex than previous models, until 2011, reports. The Mars Science Laboratory was set to arrive on the red planet next year, but problems with crucial mechanical components mean it will miss its tight launch window. “We're really only a few months behind schedule, not two years behind schedule,” said the director of the exploration program.