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This is an artist's depiction of the Mars 2003 rover and lander.
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NASA Will Roam Around Mars with Rover
News story originally written on August 5, 2000

NASA has announced the next mission to visit the planet Mars. The Mars Exploration Program Rover will start its journey in 2003 and should reach the Red Planet in 2004. This rover will be a more advanced Sojourner Rover, which visited Mars in 1997, as part of the Pathfinder mission.

The rover mission was chosen over an orbiter mission. The rover will land on the planet and search around for evidence of water. The orbiter would have stayed in space while imaging Mars.

Scientists are very excited about this newest rover. Sojourner was only able to travel 100 meters over its entire mission. But the new rover will travel 100 meters each day. We will now study a lot more of the Mars surface and will hopefully find evidence that water once existed on Mars.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA