Lunar Community Responds To Resource Prospector Cancellation (Update)

LEAG Letter To NASA Administrator Bridenstine Regarding Resource Prospector Mission

"We wrote to Drs. Gerstenmaier and Zurbuchen to describe the community-wide support for RP on 2 March 2018, after the redirection for this initially HEOMD-led mission to be shared with the new Lunar Exploration and Discovery Program within SMD. We now understand RP was cancelled on 23 April 2018 and the project has been asked to close down by the end of May. This cancellation apparently stemmed from the transfer of RP from HEOMD to SMD due to lack of FY18 funding within the AES program and a misalignment between RP's goals and schedule and the new lunar program within SMD (which has different goals, timelines, and insufficient capability to deliver the RP payload). This action is viewed with both incredulity and dismay by our community, especially as the President's Space Policy Directive 1 directs NASA to go to the lunar surface. RP was the only polar lander-rover mission under development by NASA (in fact, by any nation, as all of the international missions to the lunar poles are static landers) and would have been ready for preliminary design review at the beginning of 2019."

Resource Prospector, NASA

Keith's 26 April update: Oddly Jim Bridenstine's Twitter account said this hours after this letter complaining about a canceled lunar robotics mission.

Keith's 27 April update: I sent the following request to NASA today: " On 26 April 2018 the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) sent a letter to NASA Headquarters stating that the Resource Prospector mission had been cancelled by NASA and that no explanation has been offered as to why it was cancelled. (see http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=51363)

However, on 26 April 2018 the official Twitter account @JimBridenstine stated (in part) "... Excited to get to work on our plan to sustainably return America to the surface of the Moon starting with an aggressive robotic program." (see https://twitter.com/JimBridenstine/status/989653579043614720)

Mr. Bridenstine's tweet seems to be at odds with action taken simultaneously by NASA HQ.

1. Has the Resource Prospector mission been cancelled by NASA? If so when was it cancelled, who cancelled it, and why was it cancelled?
2. Will NASA be issuing a public statement with regard to the cancellation of the Resource Prospector mission?
3. Will NASA be responding to the letter sent by the LEAG on the topic of the Resource Prospector mission cancellation?
4. How much has NASA spent to date on the Resource Prospector mission?
5. Will any Resource Prospector- related activities continue after the cancellation of the mission itself? If so what activities will continue?
6. Was Administrator Bridenstine referring to the Resource Prospector mission in his tweet?"

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on April 27, 2018 11:00 AM.

Bolden Throws Bridenstine Some Shade was the previous entry in this blog.

Trying To Understand What NASA Is Saying About Resource Prospector is the next entry in this blog.

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