The US space agency NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will make a wide detour to explore a geographical hot spot on Mars because "it looks cool".
India plans to launch a space probe that will orbit Mars, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirmed on Wednesday after press reports that the mission was scheduled to begin late next year.
US President Barack Obama on Monday ribbed scientists behind NASA's roving robot Curiosity, instructing them to let him know right away if they found life on Mars.
NASA said Friday that a mysterious spot shown on a photograph sent back to Earth by the Mars rover Curiosity was the crash landing of its rocket stage.
NASA rover Curiosity's second day on Mars went "flawlessly," NASA said Wednesday, confirming the antennas, communication links and generator on the $2.5 billion robot are all working well.
After its first day on Mars, NASA's rover Monday sent back to Earth stunning images of its crater landing site and the mountain it aims to climb in the hunt for signs of life.
With a mixture of tense nerves and confidence, NASA counted down Sunday to the landing of its largest ever robotic rover on Mars, where it will search for signs that life may once have existed.
All was well ahead of its nail-biting mission to Mars, with its most advanced robotic rover poised to hunt for clues about past life and water on Earth's nearest planetary neighbor.
The biggest, baddest space rover ever built for exploring an alien planet is nearing its August 6 landing on Mars, and the US space agency is anxious for success despite huge risks.