News & AnalysisNewsmaker Interview: John Grunsfeld

NASA's Spacefaring Science Chief Sets a New Course for Mars

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Science  03 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6094, pp. 511-512
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6094.511

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When John Grunsfeld took over as head of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, he knew that he would soon have to answer to planetary scientists for the Administration's decision to pull NASA out of ExoMars and also face congressional ire over mismanagement of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project. Now, 7 months into the job, Grunsfeld says that JWST is on track for completion by 2018 and NASA is developing ideas for a new Mars program. Science spoke to Grunsfeld days before what he describes as the science event of the decade: the 5 August (PDT) landing of Curiosity on the martian surface.