Sent in by a reader. "Vastly overpriced."
This is why Nanos and LANS do not like WFO. There is this accountability thing.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Cash Capped for LANL Sensor
The Associated Press
NASA has capped funding for a remote sensor being developed by Los
Alamos National Laboratory for the Mars Science Laboratory rover.
"We didn't stop their work, but they're vastly overpriced, and we have
not been able to curtail that," said Alan Stern, head of science at NASA in
NASA told the project "you have to finish with the money you have,"
Stern said Tuesday.
The remote-sensing laser instrument known as ChemCam is 70 percent over
the original price proposed, he said.
Roger Wiens, principle investigator for ChemCam, said last week the
sensor is more than 90 percent complete. A French company has delivered the
laser, which has been under testing for several months, he said.
Stern said that if the project cannot finish with the money it has, it
might be able to find funds elsewhere. But, he said, "I'm out of resources."
The lab was chosen in 2004 to develop the instrument to accompany the
mobile laboratory, which will look for environments that can support life on
the surface of Mars.
ChemCam is to be delivered to the spacecraft late next spring, Stern
said. The launch is two years away, said Stern, associate administrator for
NASA's science mission directorate.
"We have missions that get into trouble," he said. "This is the third
time this mission has needed more money, and we could not pay all the
One way to cut costs was to cap ChemCam, he said.
Most of the instruments for the Mars mission are ready and within
budget, "but this one and a couple of others aren't, and we had to treat
them all similarly," Stern said.