JPL Builds Amphibious Monster Rover for Mars and Beyond

The future of Mars exploration may have monster truck tires — big bulbous beachball-type rollers that can carry a rover over almost any obstacle that the planet presents. Rather than being delivered by complicated, expensive rocket descent thrusters, the vehicle could be set down by a solar-heated hot air balloon — one that opens like a parachute high in the atmosphere, collects air as it drops, and buoyantly eases its payload to the surface.