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Cost and schedule issues threaten Mars rover missions
Posted: Tue, Nov 20, 2001, 8:03 AM ET (1303 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) Concerns about budget and schedules may force NASA to cancel one of two twin Mars rovers scheduled for launch in 2003, reported Monday. Officials with an independent review board for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) say they are not yet convinced the project can meet the mid-2003 launch dates for the two spacecraft and do it on budget. The complexity of the advanced rovers is the key cause of concern. The review board officials believe they will know by January whether the project will be able to launch two rovers on schedule. Project scientists say they need two rovers to be able to test competing hypotheses regarding features that may be evidence of water on the planet.
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