The land rover was born out of the NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute’s mission to land humans on the surface of Mars.
NASA’s first lander, the Spirit, flew in 1973.
That lander used an acoustic system to map the terrain.
In 1974, NASA’s rover Curiosity landed on Mars, which made it easier for humans to learn how to operate a rover.
A decade later, NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which landed on the red planet in 2009.
The lander landed on Earth in 2011, but Curiosity landed in 2017 to continue its mission.
Curiosity is part of NASA’s 2020 Mars Exploration Program, which aims to establish a human-led rover mission to Mars in the 2030s.
In 2019, the agency announced plans to launch a mission to search for signs of ancient life on Mars.
As part of the mission, the rover will use laser-based technology to search a range of regions on the planet.
In 2020, NASA will conduct a mission called the Martian Reconnaissance Orbiter, which will orbit Mars in 2020 and collect data for several years.