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ExoLance
Mars rover mission may require more funding before launch
Posted: Thu, Jun 9, 2011, 7:04 AM ET (1104 GMT)
Mars Science Laboratory illustration (NASA/JPL) A report by NASA's inspector general warned that the agency's latest Mars rover mission may require additional funding in order to be ready for launch later this year. The report, by NASA's Office of the Inspector General, found that the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission underestimated its costs by $44 million, and without additional funding the mission could miss its launch window late this year, forcing a two-year delay. MSL, also known as Curiosity, already missed its original launch window in 2009 in order because of development delays. Project officials said after the report's release that they believed the rover was still on track to launch this year, but would likely spend all $22 million of budgeted reserves to do so.
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