NASA to Discuss Phoenix Mission Upcoming Mars Landing
"NASA has scheduled a media briefing Tuesday, May 13, at 11 a.m. EDT, to discuss the challenges, risks and science opportunities of the scheduled May 25 landing of the Phoenix Mars Lander."
Editor's note: Phoenix once had another name: "2001 Mars Surveyor Lander". After NASA crashed two spacecraft into Mars in 1999 (Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander) it was mothballed. Then some imaginative people found a way to use NASA's investment and create a new mission using existing hardware - with lessons learned from the Mars crashes applied.
Alas, when NASA talks about Phoenix they really don't want to remind people of those sad days in 1999. In so doing they go out of their way not to remind people that a lot of money went into this spacecraft before the name change. How much? They can never really provide a straight answer. Instead, they try and pass it off as an inexpensive mission.
What follows [below] is a chronology of sorts as I thave tried to find out just what this mission costs: so far I have found official NASA statements that it is $325 million, $386 million, and $420 million. I am sure NASA can come up with several more if they try. I wonder (if asked the question) what their answer will be at this press event?
Small wonder no one can figure out exactly what MSL is going to cost, eh?
Cost chronology below: