Rover Reprieve: NASA Keeps Funding Alive For Spirit, Opportunity | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 04.18.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.18.14 **
** Airborne 04.16.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.16.14 **
** Airborne 04.14.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.14.14 **

Wed, Mar 26, 2008

Rover Reprieve: NASA Keeps Funding Alive For Spirit, Opportunity

They Keep Going And Going... Too Long?

Let's face it: NASA never expected in its wildest dreams to be still be funding the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity... as they were originally designed to only last 90 days.

Yet here we are, four years on, and both rovers are still plugging away on the Red Planet... an all-too-rare example the government getting A LOT more than it paid for.
But like a hungry infant with a bottle, the rovers need to be nourished... in this case with cash, to keep their research efforts going strong.

According to The Associated Press, last week NASA -- looking to cut any fat it can from its budget -- sent a letter to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, asking the lab to put one of the rovers in hibernation, and limit the duties of the other.

Both actions would cut about $4 million combined from NASA's Mars budget, money the agency would rather have available towards its upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission.

That request... understandable as it may be... was met with skepticism in the halls of JPL. Faced with scientific opposition to the plan, as well as an interesting PR dilemma -- the Mars rovers are among NASA's best-known programs to the general public, besides the shuttle and International Space Station -- on Tuesday NASA rescinded the letter.

"This letter was not coordinated with the administrator's office and is in the process of being rescinded," an agency statement reads. "The administrator has unequivocally stated that no rover will be turned off."

The move is a welcome, but likely temporary, reprieve for Spirit and Opportunity... as this issue may very well come up again in the future, as long as both rovers keep functioning. And while Spirit and Opportunity have been hobbled quite a bit by age... by the looks of things, their final days aren't on the visible horizon just yet.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

Advertisement

More News

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (04.20.14)

"The discovery of Kepler-186f is a significant step toward finding worlds like our planet Earth. Future NASA missions, like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and the James >[...]

Skydive Jersey Announces Shuttle Service For 2014 Season

Removes 'Getting To The Airport' As An Excuse To Not Go Skydiving So imagine it's a beautiful day to go jump out of an airplane in the greater New York City area, but you just don'>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.20.14): Ground Stop

Ground Stop Ground Stops are implemented for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are: 1) To control air traffic volume to airports when the projected traffic demand is exp>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (04.20.14)

Aero Linx: The Australian Parachute Federation The Australian Parachute Federation exists to administer and represent Australian Sport Parachuting. This is achieved by promoting an>[...]

ANN FAQ: Getting The Most Out Of ANN's Newsletters

ANN goes through a lot of trouble to make the graphics flashy and cool and an integral part of the story. But let's face it, they're bandwidth-intensive. So here are a couple of th>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC