NASA presses ahead for Mars rover launch in 2009

October 10, 2008 12:45:24 PM PDT
NASA has decided to press ahead with plans to launch a big new rover to Mars next year. Friday's decision comes after concerns were raised about the budget and technical progress for the Mars Science Laboratory.

The head of the Mars exploration program at NASA headquarters says the space agency will look at the mission's progress again in January.

The Mars Science Lab is a souped-up rover designed to roam the Martian plains and study rocks to determine whether the environment could support microbial life.