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MSL Saved… for now..?

Yesterday was a VERY important day for Mars scientists and enthusiasts alike. The next Big Thing for NASA – the almost 1 ton Mars Science Laboratory – is scheduled to be launched next October, but recently the program has had some big problems, financial as well as technical, and there had been rumours during the past week that the axe was about to fall on the mission, or at least its launch would be delayed by years. Yesterday NASA held a meeting to discuss the future of the project, and to try and find a way around its huge budget over-run, and everyone Out Here in space enthusiast land waited anxiously to hear what their decision was – would they delay the launch by a year? Delay it until 2016? Scrap it altogether..?

In the end they decided to stick to the original plan – launch next Ocober – and basically just “find the money from somewhere”. So, MSL has been saved, at least for now. Where’s that extra money going to come from tho? Well, other NASA programs, so there will be casualties somewhere.

You can read a LOT more information about this in a great report by The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla’s blog.


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