The following is a statement from NASA's Planetary Director Jim Green on Tuesday's virtual town hall meeting with the planetary scientific community. During the afternoon call, he outlined and answered questions about the proposed agency restructuring plans to consolidate some of the supporting research and technology activities to ensure a balanced planetary science portfolio for the next decade.
"NASA's commitment to planetary exploration research and analysis activities will remain strong with no lessening of our resolve to continue to lead the world in this area while reflecting fiscal realities. This restructuring better aligns the program with the planetary goals and objectives in direct response to National Academy report recommendations. The restructuring of the research and analysis program has been occurring over the last several years and has been based on significant community input."
- NASA is committed to a vibrant and coordinated strategy, not only of Mars exploration, but missions that currently include ground-breaking science missions to asteroids, the moon, and other locations in our solar system
- These missions include Pluto New Horizons that has yet to reach their destinations; Dawn's mission to the dwarf planet, Ceres, and multiple missions still in operation, such as the Cassini mission to Saturn and Messenger mission to Mercury
- In addition to launching last month a mission to the study the upper atmosphere of Mars, NASA currently operates two rovers on the Martian surface. The agency also is planning to launch a lander and another rover in the coming years
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