The Mars Science Laboratory, that souped-up rover that's due to launch for the Red Planet next year, turns out to have a larger price tag than expected. The project has already gone $165 million over its $1.8 billion price tag, and now NASA says it may take an additional $30 million to get things right.
Engineers had to redesign the rover's heat shield, since tests revealed that the existing one was not going to survive the drop down through the Martian atmosphere. The robot itself is a fantastically complex machine that will be capable of retrieving and analyzing interesting samples of dirt, dust and rock on-site—it's literally a lab on wheels. The current launch date still holds for now, but NASA says the trip could be postponed to 2010 or 2011.
Via USA Today
Why don't they just use the same heat shields they used before on the other mars rovers. And if they did, what material costs that much for such a relatively small thing. NASA is great and all, but it seems to me they use money wastefully. They try improving on things that we already know work perfectly fine. Then, if the improvements turn out to be faulty or not up to standards, they wasted money on those improvements and they have to reimprove on it. I understand the significance of the new Mars Rover project, but it almost makes me think it's not worth the costs.
Nasa should open up there buisiness to the entire world and recieve from mutli continents. I am sure many countries would be willing to put in the money; If not more then whats needed, to get it done right the first time, and mabye something a lil extra.