Mars Scout 2011 delayed

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JonClarke

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Conflict Delays NASA's Mars Scout Launch to 2013<br /><br />http://www.space.com/news/071221-nasa-mars-scout-delays.html<br /><br />I don't understand. If one party of the two finalists has behaved improperly, why not eliminate them and fly the remaining mission? <br /><br />Maybe someone had an undisclosed involvement in both?<br /><br />Very disapointing all round. A whole launch window wasted.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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Do you have any evidence to support such a conspiratorial view?<br /><br />Especially as a better understanding of the atmosphere is very important for both astrobiology and sample return.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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tuckerfan

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I don't understand. If one party of the two finalists has behaved improperly, why not eliminate them and fly the remaining mission?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>Because that would make sense.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Maybe someone had an undisclosed involvement in both?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>In which case, you fire the jerk.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Very disapointing all round. A whole launch window wasted.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>It's even worse than that. According to this article, it's going cost an additional $40 million!<br />http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSB70599820071221?sp=true<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>In addition to delaying science data, missing the 2011 launch window will cost NASA an extra $40 million or so to keep the winning contractor team funded during the two-year delay, McCuistion said.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><img src="/images/icons/mad.gif" />
 
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JonClarke

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The only way I can see this making sense is that the conflict of interest irredeemably compromises both proposals. <br /><br />In which case you would think the offer would be made to the third choice. But presumably they stopped working on the project when they lost out, so maybe too much time has been lost fo them to get a mission ready for 2009.<br /><br />Since the two prime candidates were both atmospheric missions, pushing these back to 2013 would mean that they would conflict with the Mars science orbiter, which is supposed to have a strong atmospheric emphasis.<br /><br />So maybe the 2013 Scout proposals will have other emphases - ARES, SCIM, or a small lander or rover?<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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3488

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Hi Jon,<br /><br />I too am extremely miffed at this, a whole launch window wasted. <br /><br />I have found virtually nothing about the 2013 Scout Mission.<br /><br />It would seem strange IMO that lets say two rival bids focussed on exactly the same thing?<br /><br /><br />I do not know what happened. Did they agree to co-operate, thus monopolising the contract?<br /><br />Where there brown envelopes being passed under the table full of cash?<br /><br />There I think is more to this then meets the eye.<br /><br />I agree with Tuckerfan, fire the Jerk resposible. NASA could even press criminal charges<br />against the 'jerk' if criminality is suspected.<br /><br />It will be a great shame if improper behaviour is behind this.<br /><br />Perhaps ESA & JAXA can come up with something or perhaps NASA launch the testbed <br />Mars Pathfinder (get it flight ready) with the small Marie Currie Rover at Mars during <br />this launch window at an interesting location (Coronae Scopulus perhaps).<br /><br />This alone would help fill in a big gap. It would be a great shame if this launch window was missed<br />& the loss of Mars Science as a result.<br /><br />What a crying shame this story is.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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This REALLY annoys me. I can think of a lot of excuses to delay a mission, but this might be the most lame one ever.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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keermalec

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Do note a "conflict of interest" does not necessarily mean bad behaviour.<br /><br />It just means that someone in the evaluation panel had an interest in one of the finalists (like being related to the director, or possessing stock options in the company, etc).<br /><br />It is perfectly valid and normal for an evaluation panel be changed when this is discovered.<br /><br />However, the conflict of interest should have been discovered prior to the competition. Either someone in the panel did not fully disclose his links to the competitor, or the links came about later and the panel member disclosed them as soon as he was aware of them, thus setting back the competition. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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