if you read any of my blogs concerning the Space Program, you realize I'm a great proponent of continuing America's continued exploration. That's always been a huge part of our legacy and will continue to be so.

I've posted on the shuttle landing, the past, and what's next for our involvement in space.

Another blog post was about the future of America in space and there is one. Check it out.

NASA hasn't been very effective in communicating what will follow the shuttle program. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen poll, 87 percent of Americans say they want to see more manned exploration into the great beyond. Never fear, yours truly has been doing research for you, and there are plans, and they've already begun.

How about another Mars Rover? You bet, the expected touchdown of this unmanned vehicle is August 2012. This rover, Curiosity, is reported to be five times larger than Spirit and Opportunity.

This is most likely a pre-cursor to man's exploration of Mars, which is NASA's next directive, to go deeper into space with manned missions than we have before. I believe it will happen within the next 20 years. I hope I'll be around to watch that landing, and the subsequent YouTube videos. :)

NASA and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Friday will announce the destination for the latest Mars rover, scheduled to land on the Red Planet in August 2012.

The newest rover, called the The Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is scheduled for liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in November.

Curiosity, two time as long and five times as heavy as previous Mars rovers, will look for conditions that could sustain microscopic life and any evidence of past life on Mars.

NASA's two previous Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, began their planned three-month missions on Mars in 2004. Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010, but Opportunity is still at work, just last week logging its 20th mile on the Martian surface.

Sources: CNN-NASA

Are you excited about America's future in Space? I am !


CBSNEWS.com,NASA