Next Mars Rover’s Landing Site Narrowed to 4 Choices

The latest Mars robot may be dead, but NASA scientists have plenty to keep them busy as they scout out four potential stomping grounds for an ambitious new rover pegged to be the next red planet explorer.
NASA declared the Phoenix Mars lander – its youngest Mars probe – officially dead in late May after photos taken of it from orbit revealed substantial damage from its environment in the Martian arctic. Those photos came from the same powerful orbiter that has been searching for the ultimate drop zone for NASA’s new Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) which is currently set for a November 2011 launch.
The new roving robot lab, known as Curiosity, is expected to determine whether Mars is or was ever habitable to microbial life. The rover’s combination of technical improvements should make any potential landing sites more scientifically rich than anywhere Mars landers have gone before.