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Space & Planetary Science

Confusion About Future NASA Landers on Mars

By Keith Cowing
February 28, 2012
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Proposed Mars Mission Has New Name
“A proposed Discovery mission concept led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to investigate the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets by studying the deep interior of Mars now has a new name, InSight.”
JPL’s InSight: Ignoring The Real Costs – and its MPL Heritage, earlier post
“The highly successful Mars Phoenix is (logically) mentioned as a way to claim cost savings. But when Phoenix was proposed the cost savings from heavy reuse of failed Mars Polar Lander heritage hardware were cited – but never fully explained. If this mission is approved there is no doubt that JPL and SMD PAO will once again try and claim massive cost savings and simultaneously not mention the money spent to develop the hardware for previous missions.”
Keith’s note: Oddly, NASA SMD leadership present at the MEPAG meeting cast considerable doubt on having a lander heading for Mars until 2018 – at the earliest (if then). Indeed, they were far more certain that whatever might fly to Mars in 2018 would be an orbiter – not a lander.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.