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Review approves extensions of planetary missions, but criticizes MSL
Posted: Sat, Sep 6, 2014, 3:14 PM ET (1914 GMT)
Curiosity self portrait, June 2014 (NASA) A review of ongoing planetary science missions released this week recommended that all missions it considered be continued, but criticized NASA's flagship Mars rover for not having a stronger science case. The planetary science "senior review" recommended that seven missions that have already completed their primary missions be continued: Cassini, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Opportunity, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the NASA contribution to ESA's Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, and Curiosity. However, Curiosity came in last in the rankings by the senior review committee, which criticized the mission for not offering a compelling science case for the mission as well as not appearing to take the review process seriously. NASA has asked the Curiosity team, in response to the review's findings, to revamp its science plan for the next two years. The panel recommended only minor changes to other missions, including turning off a radar instrument on LRO.
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