News FocusPlanetary Science

Safety Versus Science on Next Trips to Mars

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Science  10 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5570, pp. 1006-1008
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5570.1006

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Summary

ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA-- Rover-driving scientists eager to "follow the water" on Mars next year are struggling with the tightening constraints of safety-conscious engineers, who told Jet Propulsion Lab planetary geologists at a March workshop that of the four sites under final consideration and two backups, only one could prove safe enough to risk a $300 million landing attempt. Mars scientists are now concerned that they may have to go to a "boring" site, if only to show NASA headquarters that going to scientifically exciting sites would be worth the risk.