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Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-rover-for-you dept.
astroengine writes "NASA's baseline budget for the year beginning Oct. 1 pulls the plug on the 10-year-old Mars rover Opportunity, newly released details of the agency's fiscal 2015 spending plan show. The plan, which requires Congressional approval, also anticipates ending the orbiting Mars Odyssey mission on Sept. 30, 2016. 'There are pressures all over the place,' NASA's planetary science division director Jim Green said during an advisory council committee teleconference call on Wednesday."
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Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax

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  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @02:13AM (#46471109)
    An expensive project with huge potential that died due to not putting up the funds to transport and fuel up the vehicle already built that could have both brought people there for a mission and nudge it into a higher orbit.
  • Re:open source it (Score:4, Informative)

    by necro81 (917438) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @08:27AM (#46472081) Journal

    on NASA budgetary scales

    You say that as though it is supposed to bolster your argument. NASA's budget is somewhere around $15bn/year, or about 0.5% of the total federal spending. That covers everything from advanced research to planetary exploration to human space flight. The line item for the Mars Exploration Rover program (i.e., Opportunity) is $13 million. I suspect a lot of that goes to personnel costs, some of which might be reduced through volunteer efforts. It also costs a lot to maintain the control center and the program infrastructure, which cannot be replicated through an "API and 'simple prototyping program' ". The costs associated with people coding instructions for the rover is really a small part of the program budget. The cost to create and administer some sort of volunteer program might be small compared to $15bn, but it would be quite expensive relative to costs it is trying to replace.

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