Which Will It Be: a Mars Science Orbiter or a Mars Geological Rover? ! The Planetary Society

A decision is expected within a few days on whether NASA will conduct a 2003 orbiter or lander mission at Mars. JPL has presented a mission concept for each. The orbiter would provide high resolution mapping of large areas on Mars – data crucial to selecting future landing sites. The lander would actually be a large rover mission, capable of traverses of more than one kilometer, and be NASA’s first landing mission since the 1996-97 Pathfinder mission.