News of the WeekSpace Science

Reports Will Urge Overhaul and Delays to NASA's Mars Missions

Science  10 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5459, pp. 1722-1723
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5459.1722

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Summary

The failure of two Mars missions last year has shattered NASA's ambitious plan to launch a series of orbiting spacecraft and landers every 2 years, culminating in the return of a soil and rock sample to Earth in 2008. Now NASA is rushing to come up with a less daring but more realistic effort--one that agency officials warn will cost more and take longer to accomplish. Science has learned that the revised plan may delay some science missions, such as the lander being readied for a 2001 launch, and cost $300 million to $500 million more than NASA originally estimated.