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NASA renews Caltech contract to oversee jet propulsion lab

NASA/JPL ground controllers react to learning the Curiosity rover had landed safely on Mars.

NASA/JPL ground controllers react to learning the Curiosity rover had landed safely on Mars. // NASA

The California Institute of Technology will manage NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for at least five more years, NBC News reports.

The $8.5 billion contract to manage the agency’s lead center for unmanned planetary exploration runs through Sept. 30, 2017. Caltech will be at the helm when a NASA mission to Mars -- a JPL-led lander called Insight -- launches in 2016. The Pasadena-based university has managed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1958, according to the report.

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