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The JPL-managed Mars Science Laboratory, the next generation of Martian rover, will experience cutbacks after a NASA review found it over budget for the third time since the project's start.
The $1.7 billion mission, which will study whether the Red Planet is capable of supporting life, was on track to be $75 million over budget by its fall 2009 launch, NASA determined.
"I have entire space missions that cost not much more," said said Alan Stern, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, of the overrun. "It's quite large."
source: Aviation week
Among changes ordered are removal of the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) and the zoom capability on the mast camera. A rock-surface grinder will be replaced with a brushing tool, and funding was halted for the Laser-Induced Remote Sensing for Chemistry and Micro-Imaging (ChemCam) instrument.