Why Do We Keep Going Back to Mars?
The huge NASA rover speeding toward an August landing on Mars may be the most capable and complex Red Planet explorer ever launched, but it’s far from the first. The 1-ton Curiosity rover — which will search for evidence that Mars is, or ever was, capable of supporting microbial life — represents humanity’s 40th effort to explore the Red Planet over the last half-century.
The huge number of attempted Mars missions may seem surprising, especially since many of our solar system’s other planets and moons remain relatively unstudied. But the Red Planet keeps calling us back — and for good reason, experts say.