NASA: Tight Budget + Cost Overuns = Big Trouble

With its budget just keeping up with inflation and large costs overruns on key programs, NASA is facing some tough decisions. A roundup of news stories below:

Major NASA projects over budget
USA Today

Two-thirds of the agency’s new programs are over-budget or behind schedule.

“NASA’s nearly stagnant budget requires the agency to cut projects to make up for unexpected expenses, and cost overruns nearly shut down one of the rovers on Mars — until it got a reprieve Tuesday. They also threaten completion of a climate-change satellite called Glory,” the paper reports.

Mars Rovers Survive NASA’s Budget Crunch
Washington Post

NASA has rescinded a letter ordering the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to make deep cuts in the operating budgets of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers that are exploring Mars.

NASA holds off on budget cuts to Mars rover program
Los Angeles Times

“An order to trim $16 million from the popular missions is withdrawn. But even bigger reductions might be called for later,” the paper reports.

NASA has blamed James Green, head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, for not properly clearing his letter to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Administrator Mike Griffin.