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This is an artist's depiction of the Mars 2003 rover and lander.
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Courtesy of NASA

NASA Will Roam Around Mars with Rover (Updated!)
News story originally written on August 13, 2000

Make that two rovers! NASA has announced that twin rovers will visit Mars in 2003. The original mission would have sent just one, but scientists couldn't pass up this great opportunity. Although the machines will look identical, their missions will be very different.

Scientists plan to send the pair to very different regions of the Red Planet. For example, one rover may study what looks like an old riverbed, while the other studies the area around Olympus Mons.

"For the first time, science and technology have given us the capability to explore alien planets in ways that used to exist only in science fiction movies," said Dr. Weiler, head of the mission. "To have two rovers driving over dramatically different regions of Mars at the same time, to be able to drive over and see what's on the other side of the hill -- it's an incredibly exciting idea. I think everyone on Earth who has ever dreamed of being an explorer on an alien planet will want to go along for the ride as we explore the surface of Mars."

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