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 09.19.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.19.14 **
** Airborne 09.17.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.17.14 **
** Airborne 09.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.15.14 **

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best-known programs to the general public, besides the shuttle and International Space Station -- on Tuesday NASA rescinded the letter.

"This letter was not coordinated with the administrator's office and is in the process of being rescinded," an agency statement reads.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

Airborne 09.17.14: Boeing/SpaceX Win CCtCap, Flying Docs Endorse, Jetpack Bucks

Also: Chris Heintz, Lear 70/75 Certs, Beluga Birthday, Leap Frogs 9/11 Jump Cancelled, Lawyers Sue NTSB The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates NASA and the winners of >[...]

AD: Embraer S.A. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-19-01 PRODUCT: Embraer S.A. Model EMB-505 airplanes (Phenom 300)>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (09.19.14)

Basejumper.com A site dedicated to the sport of BASE jumping. BASE is an acronym which stands for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (09.19.14): Breakout

A technique to direct aircraft out of the approach stream. In the context of simultaneous (independent) parallel operations, a breakout is used to direct threatened aircraft away f>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (09.19.14)

"We're actually already in the process of putting some framework together, but we're going to hit the ground running when we get back in January." Source: U.S. Representative Sam G>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

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