NASA Advised to Revamp Mars Plans

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NASA needs to rethink its Mars exploration plans after 2010 given new understandings about the red planet and likely funding levels in the coming years, according to a report just out from a panel of outside experts. By adding to a reworked mix of future missions—for example, a geophysical/meteorological network as well as a sample return mission—the space agency would garner a greater scientific impact at Mars, the panel concludes. Moreover, the space agency must fortify its ability to analyze the data streaming in from Mars. That research can help flesh out a safe and scientifically productive role for humans on Mars.

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