2018 Mars Rover Unlikely In Restructured Program

By Frank Morring, Jr. .
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report .

NASA probably will not be able to afford to send a rover to Mars in 2018 with its current budget allocation, and may have to settle for a less capable mission or wait until 2020 to send a rover under its scaled-back plan to explore the red planet. Orlando Figueroa — a retired NASA executive tapped to head a panel drafting options for the agency as it devises a go-it-alone Mars program — told planetary scientists on the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Tuesday that the $700-$800 million that will be available for robotic Mars exploration by 2018 under NASA ’s fiscal 2013 budget request will not support a rover ...

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