NASA is being forced, once again, to do some drastic budget cutting which will mean laying off a bunch of very needed specialist and curtailing some of the future Mars rover missions.
The budget cut at NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program will result in the suspension of at least one vehicle operating on the planet and the laying off of around 300 scientists and other analytical staff. So basically, what the Mars weather has failed to do in curbing the functioning of the feisty Mars Rovers after nearly 3 years of a planned six month mission, the government will do because it lacks green backs. We really do need to get our priorities straight in this country.
Some at NASA are suggesting that the rover most susceptible to being shut down due to the money crunch will be Spirit since Opportunity still has plenty of cool dirt to examine in an area that looks to have once been a salt sea bed.
The entire program only costs $20 million to keep it running at full capacity with $4 million ordered in cuts. I tell you what President Bush, take back your useless so-called tax rebate that we had to borrow from China to afford and take those millions and put it into the continuation of this program of Martian study. After all, one day this will be the home of millions of immigrants from Earth. Or, are we still planning on keeping all our DNA in one basket, ripe for extinction?