NASA reiterates Mars-probe plans
LOS ANGELES — NASA said Friday it will press ahead with plans to launch a supersized rover to Mars next year despite spiraling costs and schedule pressures.
The decision to maintain the status quo - at least for now - came after the space agency’s top managers met to mull over the progress of the Mars Science Laboratory, a souped-up, nuclear-powered rover.
Concerns have been raised about how to pay for the project’s escalating costs and whether engineers can ready the rover in time for a safe launch next fall. NASA has poured $1.5 billion into the project but the final price tag is expected to be close to $2 billion.
Doug McCuistion, who heads the Mars exploration program at NASA headquarters, said significant work lies ahead and the space agency will revisit the mission’s progress in January. Meanwhile, “our intent is to keep our eye on the ball and keep pressing” for a 2009 liftoff, Mr. McCuistion told reporters in a conference call.
Simpson files bid for new hearing
Attorneys for co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart also plan to seek a new trial. They have argued that their client should have been tried separately from Simpson.
Army rejects trial in beating case
SAVANNAH, Ga. — An Army trainee will face nonjudicial punishment rather than criminal charges for beating a Jewish soldier so badly he was treated by a hospital, the military said Friday, in a move that keeps many details of the attack secret.
Spokeswoman Monica Manganaro said Friday privacy restrictions prohibited the Army from releasing further information such as the soldier’s name and his specific punishment. She said investigators determined religious bigotry wasn’t the motive in the attack, but gave no more details.View Entire Story
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