Re: SETI PLANETARY SOCIETY: NASA Threatening to Kill Two Planetar yMissions (fwd)

Robert Owen (
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 21:24:06 -0400

Clements Robert wrote: > Playing devil's advocate again, it's difficult not to be a little bit > cynical about the Planetary Society's actions in this matter: the threat to > ST4 has existed for a couple of months (ever since the New Millenium Program > conceded defeat in the search for a major industrial partner on the mission, > actually); but the PS hasn't raised a peep in its defence... _until_ the > minute a mission to the beloved Red Planet was threatened.... > > A similar problem exists at ESA. The incessant lobbying for Mars Express has > resulted in nothing more than the likelihood that a number of other missions > will be cancelled; including the first of the agency's technology > demonstrators, SMART-1 (see > for > details). A Lunar orbiter with the possibility of a NEO flyby, this mission > was at least as interesting as another Mars orbiter; & was budgetted at a > third of ME's cost... but as it wasn't to Mars, it doesn't really matter. > > Mars is an interesting place for space exploration, which may (or may not) > offer some interesting potential for discovering evidence for > extraTerrestrial life; but some space advocacy groups seem to believe that > it's be-all & end-all of the program.... > > All the best, > > Robert Clements <> > <> > > > ---------- > > From: Ed T. Toton III[] > > Sent: Friday, June 18, 1999 10:20 PM > > To: > > Subject: SETI PLANETARY SOCIETY: NASA Threatening to Kill Two > > Planetary Missions (fwd) > > > > NASA Threatening to Kill Two Planetary Missions > > Planetary Society Urges Action Now > > > > It appears that NASA is about to cancel the Mars Surveyor 2001 lander > > mission and the ST4 Comet Lander mission! > > From: Louis Friedman, Executive Director, The Planetary Society: It is not true that we raised not a peep about the threatened cancellation of ST4 a few months ago. As always in "lobbying" there is inside and public action. The latter is called for only when the issue is well-defined, and a real potential action. The earlier threat to ST4 was a budget exercise that got resolved in internal meetings in NASA and never rose to the level of congressional or administration action. This present problem has risen to that level, however. Undoubtably the author of the memo is upset about priorities -- this is always a difficult problem, and we eschew setting priorities among missions or doing comparisons. But no one should be surprised at The Planetary Society fighting for planetary missions. -- Robert M. Owen 57 West Morgan Street Brevard, NC 28712-3659 --

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