Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Lot Less Mars

At the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston this past week, NASA administrator Dr. Mike Griffin laid out the space agency's plans for Mars in the coming years, and they aren't too pretty. Sure we'll be sending a couple of rovers to roll around the place, but due to large budget cuts, NASA is refocusing its efforts from Mars exploration to robotic missions to the outer planets and Jupiter's moons. For years NASA has suffered under the weight of public disinterest. Little remote control cars trying to roll up the lip of a crater are cute and all, but where are the grizzled test pilots strapping themselves to rockets and exploring space like it's a hot girl's panties in the back seat of a Camaro? If NASA doesn't jack up the wow factor, I fear more and more funding will fly out the congressional window. More details here.

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