The Curiosity rover has beamed back a voice message from Mars in which Nasa's chief said a manned mission to the red planet could happen "in the not too distant future".
In the audio message, broadcast from the surface of the red planet by the Curiosity rover, Nasa administrator Charles Bolden said:
– Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
The knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet.
Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future.