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Explore Mars event
Next Mars rover named Curiosity
Posted: Thu, May 28, 2009, 5:50 AM ET (0950 GMT)
Mars Science Laboratory illustration (NASA/JPL) NASA's next Mars rover was formally renamed "Curiosity", the result of a student content and public poll. The spacecraft, previously known as the Mars Science Laboratory, is scheduled for launch in 2011. The new name was suggested by a 12-year-old Kansas student as part of an essay competition; the naming effort also included suggestions from project leaders and a non-binding online poll. The $2-billion Curiosity spacecraft will be the largest and most sophisticated rover ever sent to Mars, and will be designed to operate there for several years.
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