Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mars Science Lab Needs $44 Million More For It to Launch This Year, NASA Says

mars rover
NASA’s newest Mars rover faces further hurdles and could require another $44 million in funds before it is ready for launch this fall, according to an agency audit announced today.

The Mars Science Laboratory is supposed to launch in a window between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the alignment between Earth and Mars is the most favorable for an interplanetary trip. But as it stands now, the MSL team won’t finish all their work before launch unless they get more money, according to an internal audit prepared by NASA Inspector General Paul Martin.

“The project may have insufficient funds to complete all currently identified tasks prior to launch and may therefore be forced to reduce capabilities, delay the launch for 2 years, or cancel the mission,” he wrote.

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