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Could This be the End of MARS Rover

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posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 08:20 PM
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Budget Cuts Could Shut Down Mars Rover

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) folks that operate the Spirit and Opportunity robots on the red planet have gotten some bad news.

A directive has come from NASA Headquarters to take a 40 percent financial cut in their program — some $4 million in the remaining months of fiscal year 2008.


~article~

We could lose Spirit and Opportunity and have science activities halted at least temporarily. Their first choice could be to suspend Spirit for the rest of the year, so maybe not too big of a loss.

What a shame!

Edit: To add content



[edit on 24-3-2008 by hsur2112]




posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 08:26 PM
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I don't think that it's such a bad thing. Government spending needs to be cut back. This will save the tax payers a lot of money.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 08:37 PM
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They've certainly gone above and beyond early expectations. Money well spent in my opinion. The Mars orbiter Odyssey is also on the chopping block. What will be cut next?

Edit: to add content

[edit on 24-3-2008 by hsur2112]



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 08:49 PM
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...it will be 'interesting' to see how this plays out, especially since the rovers/Odyssey are operating normally, from the OP:


"We would have to make some very tough decisions about which one we would hibernate and which one we would keep active. That's a situation I do not want to face...but that's a future worry," Squyres added.

For now, the message back to NASA Headquarters is that, if the MER team has to take the first cut, there is going to be an impact on science return...and in fiscal year 2009, it will be much more severe.

Squyres emphasized that the rovers are in good health and doing good science. Another concern sparked by the budget cut, along with keeping the rovers healthy, is keeping the MER team together and morale high, he said.

SPACE.com has also learned that the venerable NASA Mars orbiter, Odyssey, is on the cost-cutting table, too. Odyssey has been in orbit since 2001.



[edit on 24-3-2008 by anhinga]



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 08:59 PM
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Maybe they should cut the giant "NERF ball space debris picker-upper" idea that I posted about in an earlier, not so popular, thread.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 09:50 PM
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They are idiots!

These are the programs that keep the sheeple asleep. They wake up for a few moments to learn about an interesting rock on a distant planet, say wow, and go back to sleep.

Swear to God, the NWO will be its own undoing.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 09:52 PM
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Hell... Give us the IP addy.. Well run it for FREE...


RIGHT BOYS....

dont tell me they will just shut it down and walk away from 2 perfectly
working rovers.....



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by KATSUO
 


...exactly, exactly right. "Perfectly working" -- write to your Congresspeople about this one.

In 2006, this is about an hour and a half of Iraq War, this, being two years of potential research down the drain, oh sorry, one in 'hibernation' for who-knows-how-much time, instead, to kill people in the middle east.

'Iraq war is costing $100,000 per minute'

[edit on 24-3-2008 by anhinga]



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 10:20 PM
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If you ask me, it's a waste of money to leave a good, expensive rover sitting there to do nothing! I'm sure they could cut spending somewhere else.... they just don't want to do that. The government really makes me angry sometimes!


[edit on 24-3-2008 by GrayFox]


jra

posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 10:22 PM
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Originally posted by Blueracer
I don't think that it's such a bad thing. Government spending needs to be cut back. This will save the tax payers a lot of money.


A whopping $4 million... that's pocket change as far as Government spending goes.


Originally posted by KATSUO
dont tell me they will just shut it down and walk away from 2 perfectly
working rovers.....


No, just one, if the cut happens. They'd put Spirit into hibernation until more funding would be available and keep Opportunity going.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by jra

Originally posted by Blueracer
I don't think that it's such a bad thing. Government spending needs to be cut back. This will save the tax payers a lot of money.


"A whopping $4 million... that's pocket change as far as Government spending goes."

Maybe. But it is a good start.

[edit on 3/24/2008 by Blueracer]



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 05:10 AM
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Shut down "not an option" according to Griffin. We are getting mixed signals from Nasa. Here's an update from cnn...


But shortly after CNN.com published the story, NASA administrator Michael Griffin said the agency will not shut down one of the two Mars rovers, according to spokesman Bob Jacobs.

"There is a process that has to be followed for any mission to be canceled and the cancellation of the Mars Exploration Rovers is not under consideration," Jacobs said. "There is an ongoing budget review within the agency's Mars exploration program. However, shutting down of one of the rovers is not an option."


~article~

Edit: add content



[edit on 25-3-2008 by hsur2112]



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 05:30 AM
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They will cut people at the bottom of the food chain. If it's anything like our company they would cut 8-10 people at the bottom and say that did it but not really do the math.

mikell



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 06:15 AM
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Originally posted by Blueracer
I don't think that it's such a bad thing. Government spending needs to be cut back. This will save the tax payers a lot of money.


I would suggest that with a comment like this, economics nor math are strong suits.

$4 mil. is pocket change.

Military spending might do well to be cut back, but that would thwart imperialism.

Just a thought.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by Badge01
 


Like I said previously...it's a good start. Did you not see that?



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 08:25 AM
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Doesn't look like they will have too much to play with next year either. According to the op article they are already talking about $8 million cuts for 2009.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by Mysteryinthesky
 


The brave, unflagging Mars rover Spirit, who has lived on the Red Planet for almost four years, has been given a death sentence by the U.S. government.


Who in the $!@# *#@! is in charge in W-DC? In part because of inflation it will cost several billion to replace Spirit when we get closer to our proposed manned trip to Mars. Sweet Jesus! Save Us.


The U.S. government has forced NASA, this country's national space agency, to cut its budget by 4 million dollars. And that means only one rover, Opportunity, will survive. To say that this is a tragedy is an understatement. The Mars rovers have been one of NASA's proudest achievements, and the information they gather today can help future planetary colonists. While NASA is planning to land another rover on Mars within the next year, it's a shame to shut down a perfectly serviceable rover that could be supplementing what the new rover will learn.


Did you mean BILLION and not MILLION, Mr M/I/T/S? I mean we spend $2 b. a week in Iraq with nothing to show for it, and we admit we’ve LOST $15 b. over there. Surely we are not concerned about a mere “$4 million?” I mean that’s just coffee money for a Halliburton Board meeting at their new HQ just moved to Dubai where they are hoping to be beyond reach of Congressional subpoenas. $4 m is not even a decent earmark for PA's John Murtha. Or Alaska's Theodore Fulton “Ted” Stevens the affable senator who wanted $240 million US taxpayer’s money to build a bridge to nowhere. And who along with his ambitious son are both now under serious Federal investigation. Maybe the two of them can work a deal to share a cell? Like father like son?


With the Earth population skyrocketing, and urban overcrowding only likely to get far worse over the coming decades, preparing to colonize other planets should be more of a priority than ever. And every time we shut down a NASA program like the rovers, we step backward, away from the goal of leaving Earth. We also hinder our search for knowledge beyond this planet.


While I share 100% your enthusiasm for exploring Mars, I’m not in the Earth to Mars movement. I fear it will serve the current overabundant crop of Earth-killers led by Bush43, as a decoy and distraction to most of us, by promising some far away paradise especially if we will leave them alone in the process. There is no way we can EVER move significant numbers of people off the Earth with the chemical propulsion systems we now have. And we are totally ignoring the wonderful AND essential solar radiation shield our atmosphere has made for us for free.

The ISS gets much solar radiation protection from the ultra thin atmosphere and the magnetosphere. By all means, we should talk about exploring Mars and we should plan to send more complex robots there, IMO. But we should not spend too much time (or money) seriously planning for human colonization anywhere off this planet. Based on what I think I know about the hazards of lengthy exposure in space, I would rate it as LESS than 1 chance in 10 billion. Not even as good odds as in the Power Ball lottery. (1 in 68 million).

Aside: Here’s what I’d call a serious proposal.
10 Saturn 5s (or equivalent load carriers) to the Moon. Transporting the equipment needed to set up a permanent base there. 10 more Saturn 5s to the Moon with our Mars equipment, which will be re-rocketed to Mars AHEAD of the people. Then 2 or 3 Saturn 5s to carry the Mars team first to the Moon for acclamation to space, and then on to Mars. Finally, 1 Saturn 5 every 3-4 months to Mars to replenish supplies. An additional 1 or 2 Saturn 5s to Mars loaded with a return to Earth vehicle for the ultimate journey back.

We threw away the plans for the Saturn 5 so that will cost an extra $10 b. for a new heavy lifter. All told then, we’d need 30-40 rockets of Saturn 5 lift capability, to make a journey to Mars with genuine hope of successful return (alive) to Earth of the 5-6 explorers. $75 b. to $150 b.

[edit on 3/25/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by donwhite
 


If we were talking about a $4 billion dollar budget cut, we'd be talking about an end to manned US spaceflight, most likely. Nasa's overall budget is around $17 billion yearly.

Its not really suprising that they'd choose one of the rovers in the midst of a budget cut. They've long outlived their original missions, and while they're still contributing good science, I would imagine that Nasa and the government would rather the remaining funds be directed towards current space projects than a past program whose original goal has already been achieved.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by vor78
 


If we were talking about a $4 billion dollar budget cut, we'd be talking about an end to manned US spaceflight, most likely. Nasa's overall budget is around $17 billion yearly. Its not really surprising that they'd choose one of the rovers in the midst of a budget cut. They've long outlived their original missions, and while they're still contributing good science, I would imagine that Nasa and the government would rather the remaining funds be directed towards current space projects than a past program whose original goal has already been achieved.


We’ve done this before. Tried to abandon the Hubble telescope. We did give up on the Voyagers. Heading into the Kuiper Belt. See Note 1. It’s not just that new stuff will be better - I'm sure it will be - but the cost to keep up what we already have is infinitesimal to the cost of replacing it. It just not make sense to me to give up a device that probably cost us $2-$3 b. to put it where it is, for a lousy $4 m. Chump change. If nothing else, manning the current rovers will furnish invaluable training for the people who will get the new ones to oversee.

Warren Buffet says he can cut 20% to 33% out of any corporation he has ever seen! I’m sure if we turned Warren lose on NASA he could save the $4 m. many times over.


Note 1. Pluto Missions
No spacecraft has yet flown by or sent rovers to Pluto. In January 2006 the New Horizons spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, which was then the last unvisited planet in the Solar System. One goal of this mission is to image and map Pluto and Charon, revealing details that have been impossible to see to date. The Hubble images are blurred.

The New Horizons spacecraft will cross the orbits of all the planets to fly by Pluto and Charon in July 2015 and on to investigate KBOs from 2016 to 2020. Within the Kuiper Belt, there are at least 500,000 objects - KBOs - larger than 30 kilometers across and many of these will be at least as large as Pluto.

The recent decision to “downgrade” Pluto [from planet status] because of new criteria for defining what is and what is not a planet, has caused further controversy because Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune also share their orbits with asteroids. [Orbit sharing being #3 in the list of criteria.]

Inscriptions engraved on the earlier space probes Pioneer 10 and 11 and encoded electronic images sent with Voyager 1 and 2, launched in the 1970s, were intended to give information about the origins of the craft for any future encounters with aliens. www.absoluteaxarquia.com/nightsky/pluto.html

[edit on 3/25/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 11:55 PM
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At last, Happy Ending

NASA: Mars Rovers Won't Be Cut



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