NASA suspends March 2016 InSight mission due technical reasons

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WASHINGTON: NASA announced on Tuesday it has suspended the March 2016 launch of its InSight mission to Mars because of problems with a key scientific component. The next launch window will not occur until around May 2018 and the US space agency said it does not yet know if it will be able to continue with the mission given budget constraints. "We either decide to go forward, or we don't, and that depends on cost data," John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA 's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, told reporters. "I don't think anyone has a question that in 26 months we won't be able to solve the problem." It will take weeks, if not months, before NASA knows how much this delay will cost, and whether it will be able to come up with the funding to move forward with InSight. The mission has a total cost cap of $675 million and it has already spent $525 million. (Scientific American)

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