NASA keeps 2009 launch date for MSL
Posted: Sat, Oct 11, 2008, 11:20 AM ET (1520 GMT)
NASA officials said Friday they're still planning to launch the most complex Mars rover ever a year from now despite problems with the spacecraft's development and budget. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft had been threatened with a delay to 2011 or even cancellation because of growing costs and concerns that the spacecraft might not be ready for launch in the fall of 2009. NASA officials would not say how much the mission, most recently estimated to cost $1.9 billion, would now cost. The development of the spacecraft has been hindered be delays manufacturing actuators used on the spacecraft, as well as software issues. Friday's announcement came after a meeting with the NASA administrator to review the mission's progress; another meeting with the administrator about MSL is scheduled for January.
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