One striking and humbling thing about Curiosity is that this is nothing compared to what will be required if our civilization-scale dreams of human exploration or even settlement of Mars are to come to fruition. Set aside for now all the questions of how humans would live on Mars: even the landing itself has to be figured out. It was a huge achievement to get a one-ton rover onto Mars today. To get humans and all the gear necessary to support them will require a lander that weighs 10 or 20 times as much. NASA says the sky crane won’t work for that.
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