WASHINGTON (TIP): Building on the success of Curiosity’s Red Planet landing, Nasa has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars programme , including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020.

The announcement comes a day after Nasa released the results of the first soil tested by the Curiosity rover, which found traces of compounds like water and oxygen that are necessary for life, the US space agency said. “The Obama administration is committed to a robust Mars exploration programme,” Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

The plan to design and build a new Mars robotic science rover with a launch in 2020 comes only months after the agency announced InSight, which will launch in 2016, bringing a total of seven Nasa missions operating or being planned to study and explore the “Earth-like neighbor”.

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