Congress Hears About Dawn Mission Cancellation

Letter from PSI Director Sykes to House Science Committee Chair Boehlert Regarding Cancellation of NASA's Dawn Mission

"I was shocked that after testifying before your Committee yesterday, the first thing Dr. Mary Cleave did upon returning to her office at NASA Headquarters was to cancel the Dawn Discovery mission. She made no mention of her intention to do this while testifying."... "Considering the concern raised at the hearing yesterday about the poor reputation of NASA as an international partner, which reflects poorly on the US, cancelling Dawn is a surprise at that level as well."

A conversation with Mark Sykes, Dawn Co-Investigator, Planetary Society

"Mark sees the cancellation of Dawn as typifying the fact that the NASA budget "has its priorities upside down," valuing high-dollar, expensive missions over all else."

Editor's note: NASA Watch has learned that the shutdown costs for Dawn are $10 million - on a project that would take $40 million on top of what was previously estimated to complete - with 98% of hardware done - much of it already integrated into the spacecraft. Also, on the day that Mary Cleave killed the mission she received a letter stating that previous Xenon tank concerns had been resolved and that there was no longer any issue with it.

As such, a spacecraft that is almost ready to explore Ceres and Vesta is going to end up in a box in a hangar. All this for $30 million. So far, as SMD AA, Mary Cleave is known only for the things she has killed.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 4, 2006 7:06 PM.

SOFIA's Engineer Contradicts Claims by Griffin and Cleave was the previous entry in this blog.

AAS Speaks Out on FY 2007 Budget Cuts is the next entry in this blog.

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