NASA probably will not be able to afford to send a rover to Mars in 2018 with its current budget allocation, and may have to settle for a less capable mission or wait until 2020 to send a rover under its scaled-back plan to explore the red planet. Orlando Figueroa — a retired NASA executive tapped to head a panel drafting options for the agency as it devises a go-it-alone Mars program — told planetary scientists on the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Tuesday that the $700-$800 million that ...

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