With funding from corporations, a group of universities in Canada are hoping to build a robot for a mission to Mars. The project, named Northern Light, is shooting for a budget of $20 million and has the goal of finishing the hardware in a year (a tiny fraction of what a large agency like NASA would allocate). Another year will be spent testing, then off to Mars late 2009, possibly on a Soviet-built launch vehicle. The goal: Look for water and life. Group members currently include Universities of Toronto, Waterloo, Winnipeg, Western Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Calgary, New Brunswick and Simon Fraser.