MSL Delayed to 2011

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MeteorWayne

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<p>Saw a story in the paper this weekend, looking for confirmation.</p><p>It stated that MSL may be delayed or cancelled outright, members of a NASA advisory committee were warned Thursday.</p><p>Costs have soared 40% above budget</p><p>Michael Griffin is to decide whether to cancel, delay, or go ahead with the troubled mission on Friday</p><p>It's also possible that Congress, grappling with massive budget deficits and the cost of the $700 billion bailout (plus $ 10 billion a month spent on the war) will terminate the mission on it's own.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Looking for online confirmation</p><p>MW</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Saw a story in the paper this weekend, looking for confirmation.It stated that MSL may be delayed or cancelled outright, members of a NASA advisory committee were warned Thursday.Costs have soared 40% above budgetMichael Griffin is to decide whether to cancel, delay, or go ahead with the troubled mission of FridayIt's also possible that Congress, grappling with massive budget deficits and the cost of the $700 billion bailout (plus $ 10 billion a month spent on the war) will terminate the mission on it's own.&nbsp;Looking for online confirmationMW <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Nothing at SDC, Space News, Spaceflight now, NASA, or any other media outlets so far....<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">&nbsp;Nothing at SDC, Space News, Spaceflight now, NASA, or any other media outlets so far.... <br /> Posted by MeteorWayne</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi Wayne,</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Perhaps it's something being bantered about in unofficial circles within the White House??????????</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I hope it's not true. Perhaps my days of being involved in mission saving campaigns are not over after all. MSL is well worth saving.<br /></strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <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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rocketscientist327

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<p>I wouldn't be surprised if this gets axed, and I will be extrememly upset.&nbsp; If you look at how NASA has budgeted its money and what it has got in return, bang for the buck, it is down right craptastic,</p><p>&nbsp;ORION, ARES I, IV, IIV, or whatever version gets leaked next.</p><p>There are have been so many poor decisions made and now MSL may have to pay the price for bad monitary decisions.</p><p>Respectfully,</p><p>Rocket Scientist 327</p>
 
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Huntster

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I'm finding a few new stories regarding this:<BR/>http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/828185.html<BR/>http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/714171.html<BR/>http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/Balloon100308.xml&channel=space<BR/><BR/>Let's be fair, now. Massive cost inflation usually means there has been rampant overspending and horrendous inefficiencies in the program. Sometimes these can't be avoided, such as with Hubble and Galileo. Outright cancellation is not the best course--else we've just thrown out 1.5 billion for zip--but NASA and those in charge of the MSL program must be punished in some way. How to proceed is a conundrum. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">I wouldn't be surprised if this gets axed, and I will be extrememly upset.&nbsp; If you look at how NASA has budgeted its money and what it has got in return, bang for the buck, it is down right craptastic,&nbsp;ORION, ARES I, IV, IIV, or whatever version gets leaked next.There are have been so many poor decisions made and now MSL may have to pay the price for bad monitary decisions.Respectfully,Rocket Scientist 327 <br /> Posted by rocketscientist327</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I agree rocketscientist327.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>In both love & admire NASA for what NASA is able to do with being given peanuts. However, you are correct, NASA is suffering from bad ideas & basically backpeddling in many areas, like Orion. Orion let's face it is Apollo all over again with a bit of fancier kit. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>IMO, Orion is a backward step, at least the Space Shuttle despite its faults, represented a big step forward & on the whole has been successful, but maybe could had evolved as technology evolved & perhaps have become a deep space manned craft as well as LEO.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>But I think this is not really an issue with NASA, rather the general economic downturn.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.</strong></font></p> <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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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I agree rocketscientist327.In both love & admire NASA for what NASA is able to do with being given peanuts. However, you are correct, NASA is suffering from bad ideas & basically backpeddling in many areas, like Orion. Orion let's face it is Apollo all over again with a bit of fancier kit. IMO, Orion is a backward step... Posted by 3488</DIV></p><p>Folks, can we NOT let this degenerate into let another Orion/Ares bashing exercise?&nbsp; It is not the topic of this thread, and neither project have anything to do with MSL's problems.&nbsp; There are plenty of threads that bash Orion and Ares.</p><p>Jon</p> <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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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I'm finding a few new stories regarding this: http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/828185.html http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/714171.html http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/Balloon100308.xml&channel=space Let's be fair, now. Massive cost inflation usually means there has been rampant overspending and horrendous inefficiencies in the program. Sometimes these can't be avoided, such as with Hubble and Galileo. Outright cancellation is not the best course--else we've just thrown out 1.5 billion for zip--but NASA and those in charge of the MSL program must be punished in some way. How to proceed is a conundrum. <br />Posted by Huntster</DIV></p><p>MSL is an extremely ambitious program on every level, cost oer runs are to be expected.&nbsp; It also had a very tight, perhaps unrealistically tight, schedule.</p><p>I think delay is highly likely.&nbsp; But it would be a great shame and loss for it to be cancelled.</p><p>Jon<br /></p> <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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franontanaya

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<p>I think the martian program is currently "running on benefits" with both MER and Phoenix, as they are returning more than expected. If MER ran for their expected 90 sols, to get up to the current sol count it would have required a dozen and half MER missions. Their success should be enough argument to finish MSL.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I think the martian program is currently "running on benefits" with both MER and Phoenix, as they are returning more than expected. If MER ran for their expected 90 sols, to get up to the current sol count it would have required a dozen and half MER missions. Their success should be enough argument to finish MSL. <br />Posted by franontanaya</DIV></p><p>Except that MSL will be able to do science that the rovers cannot.&nbsp; MSL will be able to take advanatage of all we have learned about Mars snce 2003 thanks to the MERs, Phoenix, Mars Express, and&nbsp;MRO.&nbsp; Better places to look, better places to land.&nbsp; And if MSL exceeds expectations in the same way as the MERs did, it could last for 20 years and cover 100&nbsp;km.</p><p>Jon<br /></p> <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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Huntster

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<p>That brings up an interesting question, Jon. At what point do you say that the returns do not justify the (probably increasing) costs of maintaining a program running at full blast? At what point is it better to shut a program down and redirect funds to newer and better equipment?</p><p>Of course, it is too early to worry about such things for MSL, or even the MERs, but it still makes me wonder. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>That brings up an interesting question, Jon. At what point do you say that the returns do not justify the (probably increasing) costs of maintaining a program running at full blast? At what point is it better to shut a program down and redirect funds to newer and better equipment?Of course, it is too early to worry about such things for MSL, or even the MERs, but it still makes me wonder. <br />Posted by Huntster</DIV></p><p>It certainly is an interesting question, nd it pertains to a whole range of projects too, not just space.&nbsp; Sometimes it is better to write off the development costs rather than continue to throw good money after bad.&nbsp; </p><p>As you say, MSL is nowhere near that point.&nbsp; At the worst case we are looking at spending what, another 20% more than has been spent already? If that money is not spent the instrumentation stays on the ground, with no hope of flying in the future, unless someone finds a way to re-use it on a different lander.</p><p>MSL is so far advanced it would be nuts to cancel it.&nbsp; But we are talking about accountants here.</p><p>Jon</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <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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MeteorWayne

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<p>SDC has followed up on my request for them to investigate the story:</p><p>http://www.space.com/news/ap-081007-marsrover-woes.html</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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samkent

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What has been the reasons for the overruns? I am assuming hardware development. <BR/>Why not drop some of the hardware as a cost/time saving measure? Or reduce the requirements of the hardware. <BR/><BR/>Instead of requiring the drill to work down to 12 inches, settle for 6.<BR/>If weight is an issue drop one of the new fangled experiments that isn’t working correctly in the lab.<BR/><BR/>You know what the launch cost is. So when the remaining money drops to the cost of the launch , launch what you have and forget the rest until next time.<BR/><BR/>Look I’d like to drive a Lexus with sat nav but my budget limits me to a Hyndai and a map.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>What has been the reasons for the overruns? I am assuming hardware development. Why not drop some of the hardware as a cost/time saving measure? Or reduce the requirements of the hardware. Instead of requiring the drill to work down to 12 inches, settle for 6. If weight is an issue drop one of the new fangled experiments that isn&rsquo;t working correctly in the lab. You know what the launch cost is. So when the remaining money drops to the cost of the launch , launch what you have and forget the rest until next time. Look I&rsquo;d like to drive a Lexus with sat nav but my budget limits me to a Hyndai and a map. <br />Posted by samkent</DIV><br /><br />Those things have already been done. The instrumentation and capability has been scaled back. After a certain point though, what you deliever will not deliver enough science to justify the launch. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p>Almost every lander mission has had budget problems.&nbsp; The MERs, Viking, Surveyor, Beagle 2.</p><p>Jon</p> <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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samkent

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If that's the case it must be the same person writing all the proposals to the gov. He seems to be under estimating the actual costs. Can him and get someone who can be a bit more realistic. Imagine buying a car that way. You agree on a price and sign the paperwork. But when the loan book comes in the mail a month later, the payments are twice what you were told. There seems to too much tolerance for cost overruns.
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>If that's the case it must be the same person writing all the proposals to the gov. He seems to be under estimating the actual costs. Can him and get someone who can be a bit more realistic. Imagine buying a car that way. You agree on a price and sign the paperwork. But when the loan book comes in the mail a month later, the payments are twice what you were told. There seems to too much tolerance for cost overruns. <br />Posted by samkent</DIV><br /><br />It's a fine line that has to be trod. You make optimistic best guesses about costs assuming the technology won't fight you.</p><p>If you make pesssimistic assumtions, it will be too expensive and the mission will never be selected.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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Huntster

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Indeed, Wayne. Most government agencies follow the philosophy of "It is better to ask forgiveness later, than to ask permission now," and NASA is no exception. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Indeed, Wayne. Most government agencies follow the philosophy of "It is better to ask forgiveness later, than to ask permission now," and NASA is no exception. <br />Posted by Huntster</DIV><br /><br />It is an inevitible byproduct of our government's funding process, which is worse than sausage :) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>It is an inevitible byproduct of our government's funding process, which is worse than sausage :) <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>Most commerical development projects include a 10-20% margin for contingencies.&nbsp; NASA is not allowed to do this. </p><p>Jon</p> <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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h2ouniverse

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Most commerical development projects include a 10-20% margin for contingencies.&nbsp; NASA is not allowed to do this. Jon <br />Posted by jonclarke</DIV><br /><br />ESA imposes on the opposite contingency margins in the cost budgets established by its industrial contractors. But that is not finally making a real difference in terms of science mission cost overruns.</p><p>Cost and schedule obey to the law of perfect gases: "Any activity will spontaneously occupy all the budget and schedule available".</p><p>This is not cynical but highly rational. These missions imply optimising under a huge set of constraints. That means that the instant optimum will only be marginally compliant budget-wise and cost-wise from the very beginning, under pressure for the optimisation of the other criteria (mass, science return, performance...). You usually counter that by imposing margins. But the compulsory margins have to be realistic for them to be credible. If they are disproportionate, they appear dummy and are generally ignored or passed by....</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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centsworth_II

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<div class="name_address"><font color="#0000ff"><u>http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html</u></font><div class="address">&nbsp;</div><div class="address"><font color="#000080"><span class="bold">NASA News Audio Live Streaming</span></font></div><div><font color="#000080">&nbsp;</font></div></div> <font color="#000080"><strong>3 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 10<br /> Mars Science Laboratory Mission Update</strong><br /><br /> NASA will host a media teleconference to brief reporters following a meeting with the NASA Administrator concerning the agency's Mars Science Laboratory. The mission, scheduled to launch in 2009, will assess a variety of scientific objectives, including whether Mars had, or has today, an environment able to support microbial life. The rover will carry the largest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. </font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.htmlNASA News Audio Live Streaming&nbsp; 3 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 10 Mars Science Laboratory Mission Update NASA will host a media teleconference to brief reporters following a meeting with the NASA Administrator concerning the agency's Mars Science Laboratory. The mission, scheduled to launch in 2009, will assess a variety of scientific objectives, including whether Mars had, or has today, an environment able to support microbial life. The rover will carry the largest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV><br /><br />Thanx for the heads up! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p>From SDC:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">NASA will push ahead with its plan for an October 2009 launch of the already over-budget Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) despite ongoing technical and schedule difficulties all but certain to push the cost of the mission past $2 billion.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Officials in charge of NASA's Mars program made the announcement Friday following a meeting with NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to discuss what to do about the mission in light of continued cost growth. MSL's price tag has risen $300 million since mid-2006 topping $1.9 billion in NASA's latest public estimate.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Doug McCuistion, the director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, said MSL will need more than $1.9 billion whether it launches as planned in October 2009 or is delayed two years until the next optimal launch window opens in 2011. McCuistion said NASA was not at liberty to say how much additional money MSL would need until it has a chance to square its budget needs with the White House and Congress.</span></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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