Mars Science Lab is an expensive mission, an estimated $2.5 billion all said. It was never really supposed to get this big or expensive, but as scientists packed more and more scientific instruments and capabilities on board, it grew from a medium-sized mission to a huge mission. Unfortunately, science budgets around the world being what they are, we're unlikely to see another huge science mission like MSL anytime soon, APL's Gold says. Missions will have to be smaller and less costly to get funding. It's not an ideal situation, but thanks to MSL's technology contributions (like those mentioned above) it's not an untenable one.