Next Mars rover planned for 2016
In the wake of successfully dropping the SUV-sized Curiosity rover onto Mars this month, NASA said Monday that it will send another robot to the Red Planet in 2016 to drill into the planet's crust and piece together a picture of the Martian interior. The $425 million robotic lander, named InSIGHT, will be built and operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, the hotbed of engineers and scientists who designed and assembled the $2.5 billion Curiosity.
Shields added to space station
Space-walking astronauts improved the safety of their orbiting home Monday by installing shields to protect against zooming pieces of junk. Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko hung the panels on the Russian side of the International Space Station. The shields were supposed to be installed during a space walk in February, but the job was put on hold when other work ran long. The pieces were hauled up by the now-retired space shuttles. The space station is currently home to six astronauts.