March 24, 2008
Posted: 08:00 PM ET
Just hours after we reported that NASA budget cuts would lead to the shut down of the Mars rover "Spirit," we received this from NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs:
"There is a process that has to be followed for any mission to be canceled and the cancellation of the Mars Exploration Rovers is not under consideration. There is an ongoing budget review within the agency's Mars exploration program. However, shutting down of one of the rovers is not an option."
And this from NASA Administrator Michael Griffin:
"NASA will not shut down one of the Mars rovers."
But when I called rover principal investigator Steve Squyres back, he said he hadn't heard anything additional from anyone at NASA, and wonders whether the directive to cut $4 million out of his budget still stands. He says it is a question of simple math...if he has to cut $4 million, then he has to shut down a rover. It's that simple.
So questions remain.
I'll update the blog if I get more clarification.
–Kate Tobin, Sr. Producer, CNN Science & Technology
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