NASA builds Mini-sized Mars rover

Nic Cackett

If you thought the average family hatchback was expensive to design and build you wouldn't believe the lengths that NASA is prepared to go to with its new Mars rover.

The Mini Cooper-sized Mars Science Laboratory dwarfs the previous rovers dispatched to the red planet in both scale and expense. The estimated cost for the programme is currently hovering around the $2.4bn mark.

However, put that kind of money into the NASA boffins' ultra-clean hands and you end up with quite a machine.