mission to mars

Mon, 2007-10-22 10:50Mitchell Anderson
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Did Bush’s Mars Plan Scuttle DSCOVR?

When the now-Nobel Laureate Al Gore proposed the DSCOVR mission way back in 1998, he was widely jeered by Republicans for interfering in the scientific business of NASA.

“Gore-sat”, “Gore-cam”, and “the multi-million dollar screen saver” were all quips trotted out on the floor of the Senate and Congress in opposition to the mission.

DSCOVR was a victim of such partisan politics. Even though it is fully completed at a cost of $100 million, this unique spacecraft remains in a storage box in Maryland, rather than providing critical data on the progress of climate change.
NASA quietly cancelled DSCOVR last year, citing “competing priorities”.

What could they be? Perhaps the biggest was George Bush’s edict NASA in January 2004 to put a human on the surface of Mars.

Fri, 2007-10-12 08:05Mitchell Anderson
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How Much Is Monitoring Climate Change Worth?

Part 6 in our “Uncover DSCOVR” series featuring science writer Mitchell Anderson
Like any government body, NASA has to decide where is best to spend it’s finite resources. These decisions aren’t easy but they are essential to ensure that the funds entrusted by the taxpayer are allocated in a coherent and thoughtful way.

 

Looking through that lens, it is hard to imagine how NASA saw fit to cancel DSCOVR after it was built – ostensibly due to lack of resources – when they are continuing to shovel literally billions of dollars on two mega projects that arguably have no scientific merit whatsoever. I speak of the International Space Station (ISS) and the proposed manned mission to Mars.
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