02/06/2015

How Budget Plans on Earth Might Stop Opportunity Rover on Mars

2:19 minutes

This week, NASA unveiled its preliminary budget plans for the coming years. The budget request contains $1.36 billion for planetary science. The Mars rover Opportunity, however, is slated to receive no money in 2016. NASA officials said that the budget was a matter of balancing priorities in a time of limited funds, and that if there continued to be a scientific need for Opportunity, the agency would look for ways to continue funding the project. Steven Squyres, the principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, says that he’s still excited about the rover’s science prospects, and expects that funding for continued operations will be restored.

Segment Guests

Steven Squyres

Steven Squyres is scientific principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission and an astronomy professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

David Radzanowski

David Radzanowski is chief financial officer of NASA in Washington, D.C.

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About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.