ROCKFORD, Ill. —
The first rover on Mars was the size of a shoebox, the next proved that water once flowed on the Red Planet, and Curiosity is a "geo-chemistry lab on wheels," Dan said. The expectation is that Curiosity will be active at least two years on Mars, he said.
The next rover is being planned to land on Mars in 2018 to 2020, but depends on NASA's budget, Dan said.
Curiosity could have landed anywhere in a circle about twice the size of Rockford, Dan said. The project he's working on now "will allow us to land in a football field."