astroengine writes "What if the Martian terrain is too rugged for a rover to traverse? Or the surface features of interest are too small for a Mars orbiters to resolve? If selected by NASA, the Aerial Regional-Scale Environment Surveyor (ARES) could soar high above the Martian landscape, getting a unique birds-eye view of the Red Planet. It's primary mission is to sniff out potential microbial life generating gases like methane, but it would also be an ideal reconnaissance vehicle to find future landing sites for a manned expedition. Prototypes of the rocket-powered drone have been successfully flown here on Earth, so will we see ARES on Mars any time soon?"
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