Mission to Mars delayed until 2011

It looks like Nasa won't be seeing red any time soon

Nasa has announced that it has had to delay its Mars Science Laboratory rover mission.

The US space agency was meant to carry out the launch next year, but various problems have marred the mission – these mainly had to do with hardware malfunctions.

Instead, Nasa has now pencilled in a launch date of 'late 2011'.

Too much risk

Speaking about the delay, Nasa's Administrator Michael Griffin, said: "Trying for '09 would require us to assume too much risk, more than I think is appropriate for a flagship mission."

Even though 2011 sounds like a long way off, it still pips Europe to the post. Originally scheduled to launch in 2013, the European Mars rover ExoMars won't be hitting orbit until 2016.

The delay to the US mission means that Nasa will have spent around $2billion to visit the Red Planet. Let's hope they actually find something interesting up there to warrant the hefty price tag.


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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.