Dec 24, 2007

Mars Scout mission delayed till 2013

NASA has postponed the target date for the launch of its Mars Scout mission by two years, till 2013. The launch is posponded due to an undisclosed organizational conflict of interest between the final two team’s proposals. Earlier the launch was planned for 2011.

Revised proposals for the mission are now set for August 2008, and the assessment and selection will take place in December 2008. The delay is expected to increase the cost of the $475 million project by a further $40 million. This was the shortest delay possible for the mission as planetary alignment between earth and Mars occurs once every 26 months.

However, it should be noted that this is only the first time since 1994 that NASA will miss an opportunity to send a mission to Mars. With a European probe also, already being postponed to 2013, Russia is the only nation expected to send a Mars mission in 2011. Link


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