Mars Curiosity Rover Serves As “Goodwill Ambassador” For Agency

The Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-nasa-jpl-curiosity-pr-20121201,0,5350955.story?track=rss (12/1, Khan, 692K) reported, “NASA’s Curiosity rover was designed to search Mars for places capable of supporting life. But the $2.5-billion mission has another, unofficial objective: To serve as a goodwill ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Ca ada Flintridge at a time when funding for planetary exploration is in jeopardy.” Notably, “The efforts appear to be paying off,” as “interest in the Mars Science Laboratory mission…has grown so intense that JPL staffers who normally promote the rover’s doings are working to ratchet down expectations for a scientific presentation Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.”