[extropy-chat] Nasa Reinstates Dawn Mission
deimtee at optusnet.com.au
Tue Mar 28 13:56:32 UTC 2006
Looks like good news for Amara. : )
Erica Hupp/Dean Acosta
March 27, 2006
NASA Reinstates the Dawn Mission
NASA senior management announced a decision Monday to reinstate the Dawn
mission, a robotic exploration of two major asteroids. Dawn had been
canceled because of technical problems and cost overruns.
The mission, named because it was designed to study objects dating from
the dawn of the solar system, would travel to Vesta and Ceres, two of
the largest asteroids orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn
will use an electric ion propulsion system and orbit multiple objects.
The mission originally was approved in December 2001 and was set for
launch in June 2006. Technical problems and other difficulties delayed
the projected launch date to July 2007 and pushed the cost from its
original estimate of $373 million to $446 million. The decision to
cancel Dawn was made March 2, 2006, after about $257 million already had
been spent. An additional expenditure of about $14 million would have
been required to terminate the project.
The reinstatement resulted from a review process that is part of new
management procedures established by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.
The process is intended to help ensure open debate and thorough
evaluation of major decisions regarding space exploration and agency
"We revisited a number of technical and financial challenges and the
work being done to address them," said NASA Associate Administrator Rex
Geveden, who chaired the review panel. "Our review determined the
project team has made substantive progress on many of this mission's
technical issues, and, in the end, we have confidence the mission will
The Dawn decision document will be available on the Web at:
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