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Curiosity should last a very long time - up to around 14 years.

My question is whether NASA has any plans for a Mars rovers after Curiosity. If so, are any specifics known?

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Nasa is planning another rover for a 2020 arrival. To keep costs down the plan is to use a chassis similar to Curiosity but with a different set of instruments.

NASA's Science Definition Team issued a report earlier this month outlining four major goals for the mission:

  • Explore an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars to decipher its geological processes and history, including the assessment of past habitability.

  • Assess the biosignature preservation potential within the selected geological environment and search for potential biosignatures.

  • Demonstrate significant technical progress towards the future return of scientifically selected, well-documented samples to Earth.

  • Provide an opportunity for contributed Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) or Space Technology Program (STP) participation, compatible with the science payload and within the mission’s payload capacity.

The planetary Society did an in depth writeup of the report. NASA's report is available if you'd prefer to read the original.

Concept Sketch for new rover: Concept Sketch for new rover

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  • $\begingroup$ Costs downs means \$1.5 billion for hardware (not clear if launch included in that cost, but what is \$100-200 million) vs \$2.5 billion for the Curiosity hardware. $\endgroup$ – geoffc Jul 31 '13 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @geoffc Launch should be included. $\endgroup$ – s-m-e Jul 31 '13 at 16:21

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