For various reasons, NASA is cutting short its missions. The new plan was announced by the NASA officials in meetings laying out budget plans for next year. Threatened missions are the Odyssey orbiter, the Curiosity rover, Mars Express orbiter, and Artemis. The lucky mission is Perseverance.
The main reason? Money. But besides money, there are also bad reviews, including unfriendly presidential tweets.
2001 Mars Odyssey
The mission might be ended by losing all funds. Launched April 7, 2001, the robotic spacecraft had, at the time, an expected cost of US$297 million. It is the longest-serving spacecraft at Mars, and it was supposed to be functional until 2025.
Launched on November 26, 2011, the rover’s mission was destined to explore the crater Gale on Mars. It is part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and was awarded in 2012 with the Robert J. Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association. Although its initial mission of two years was extended indefinitely. With a $2.5 billion price tag, plans for Curiosity will be limited.
The European Space Agency’s exploratory mission will be left without NASA’s support. The launch date was June 2, 2003. This makes it the second-longest spacecraft in orbit around another planet than Earth. It cost approximately 300 million Euros.
The program’s goal is to send another human-crewed spacecraft on the Moon, in 2024. Although President Trump sustained the mission in 2017, he changed his spatial priorities and tweeted: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago.” The estimated cost of the mission is US$250 million, and in 2020, NASA requested additional funding, and the total budget would now be $25.2 billion per year.
Perseverance Mars Rover is persevering
Having an almost identical design with the Curiosity rover, Perseverance is maintaining its funds, and Dr. Lori Glaze, Director of NASA’s planetary science division, stated that NASA is doing everything so that the rover is launched in July this year.