Cost of next-generation Mars rover soars to $2.5B

A Mars Rover Named 'Curiosity'
"Siblings." This artist's concept compares Curiosity (left) to Spirit (right).

NASA's next-generation rover mission to the surface of Mars needs more money - again.

Nine months before the scheduled launch, the space agency says the mission has burned through its reserves and needs another $82 million to complete testing before .

It's the latest cost overrun to plague the Mars Science Laboratory, a nuclear-powered rover the size of a small SUV that will study whether the planet was or is habitable.

Previous financial and development problems forced a two-year launch delay. Curiosity, as the rover is known, is now slated to lift off in November from , Fla.

The latest price tag is $2.5 billion, making it the most expensive mission yet to Mars. reported the need for the extra funds to its advisory council last week.

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