- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
NASA Cancels Mission to Study Effects of Black Holes, Neutron Stars
7 June 2012 4:38 pm
NASA has cancelled a mission that was scheduled to be launched in 2014 to study the warping of space around black holes and map the structure of magnetic fields around neutron stars.
The Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS), under development at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was supposed to cost no more than $119 million. But independent external reviews of the project found that the final costs were likely to exceed that cap by 20% to 30%.
As a result, NASA decided to pull the plug on the project. The agency has already spent around $37 million on the design of instruments for the mission. NASA anticipates paying contractors another $13 million to close out the project.
“One of the major contributors of the increased cost was that the technology development was more difficult and took longer than they (the mission planners) had originally estimated,” Paul Hertz, head of NASA’s astrophysics division, said, announcing the project’s cancellation this afternoon.
Proponents of the mission presented the agency’s management with additional information in recent weeks in a bid to get NASA to reverse the decision, Hertz says. But officials did not relent, in part because “GEMS had been initiated under a cost-cap competition,” Hertz says. “As such, the cost cap is a very important aspect of the project.”