This Is The Next Mars Rover

This Is The Next Mars Rover

I want to ride the Mars Rover Curiosity. Sure, at a maximum of 90m per hour it would be a glacial ride, but the bloody thing is going to Mars. Where have I been lately? To the dog park two blocks from my house, that’s where. And there’s no dog poop in Mars.

3D camera championed by James Cameroncanned

But besides all the outstanding technology, this thing just looks like a great machine. It’s also huge: At 3 meters, it’s double the length of the Mars Exploration Rovers. It also has five times the weight of the rovers and more than double the weight of the Phoenix Mars Lander: 900 kilograms. It’s so big that it needs a freaking floating crane to land.

Curiosity is almost finished and, along with the floating crane and the rest of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, it should be packed and send to Florida next month. There, it will get readied to be launched on November 25. I won’t reach Mars until August 6, 2012. I will biting my nails all those months. [Boing Boing and Jet Propulsion Laboratory]