In Pictures: What is so infinitely cool about Mars?

Interest in exploring the Red Planet is at an all-time high -- from millionaire private space-goers to world-wide space programs and scientists

In December NASA said it wanted to build on the great success and popularity of its current Mars Science Laboratory mission, and announced plans to explore the red planet further, including launching another sophisticated robot rover by 2020 and widely expanding other Mars scientific projects. The plan to design and build a new Mars robotic science rover -- which will mirror the technology employed with the current Curiosity rover and further the research needed to send humans to the planet sometime around 2030, NASA said.

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