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 Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.01.16

Airborne 02.02.16

Airborne 02.03.16

Airborne 02.04.16

Airborne 02.05.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 02.01.16

Airborne 02.02.16

Airborne 02.03.16

Airborne 02.04.16

Airborne 02.05.16

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best-known programs to the general public, besides the shuttle and International Space Station -- on Tuesday NASA rescinded the letter.

"This letter was not coordinated with the administrator's office and is in the process of being rescinded," an agency statement reads.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

Navy's UAV Could Be A Tanker

Carrier-Based Unmanned Gas Station Might Be Result Of X-47B Program While there was much speculation about the ultimate role for the Navy's unmanned X-47B aircraft that demonstrate>[...]

Airborne 02.05.16: Collier Trophy Noms, NJ Homeowner Nonsense, Flight Design USA

Also: A-10 Survives, The Essential Aero-Community, Miami Seaplanes, ERAU WACO, Jeppesen Leadership, ADS-B Kickstarter, Guilty Non-Pilot The National Aeronautic Association announce>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (02.07.16)

“The 13 CubeSats that will fly to deep space as secondary payloads aboard SLS on EM-1 showcase the intersection of science and technology, and advance our journey to Mars.&rd>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.07.16)

Aero Linx: The Lancair Owners and Builders Organization (LOBO) The Lancair Owners and Builders Organization (LOBO) promotes the safe use of Lancair Aircraft through education, trai>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.07.16): Localizer Offset

Localizer Offset An angular offset of the localizer from the runway extended centerline in a direction away from the no transgression zone (NTZ) that increases the normal operating>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC