NASA Announces New Mars Probe, While SpaceX Is Urged To Focus on Launches

NASA will land a new probe on Mars on November 26, 2018, “paving the way toward an ambitious journey to send humans to the Red Planet,” according to one NASA official. The $828 million project will investigate how the planet was formed, NASA announced Friday, calling it “an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about the internal structure of the Red Planet.”

Meanwhile, long-time Slashdot reader taiwanjohn shares an editorial published by Ars Technica the same day, titled “We love you SpaceX, and hope you reach Mars. But we need you to focus.” Noting that SpaceX receives the majority of its funding from NASA, the site’s senior space editor writes that the company’s business model requires that they ultimately deliver a reusable launch system.

“I understand SpaceX has a master plan — the company wants to colonize Mars… But at some point you have to focus on the here and now, and that is the Falcon 9 rocket… if there is no Falcon 9, there is no business.”

In a related story, Saturday NASA’s history office shared a photograph from the Viking 2’s landing on the surface of Mars — which happened exactly 40 years ago.

from Department of Private Space Inc.