- Press Release
- Jan 28, 2023
SSV Project for MUSES-C Cancelled
The MUSES-C plan is proceeding with the cooperation of NASA in the USA. NASA decided to abandon development of JPL’s super-mini rover (SSV: Small Separable Vehicle) which was intended to be carried on MUSES-C. According to NASA, the reasons for the cancellation are the large increase in the budget and weight, against a background of the failure of the Mars mission and several other recent NASA/JPL incidents. After the third successive failure of the Mars mission, progress checks on all current JPL projects were carried out. The current SSV was judged too large a risk to employ, because on one hand a large budget would be needed to bring the weight down to the prescribed SSV limits. As a result, it was decided to cancel the project.
The SSV has four palm-sized wheels. When MUSES-C approaches
an asteroid, the SSV is supposed to separate from the probe, land on the
asteroid surface and move around observing the location with an infrared
camera. The cancellation is disappointing, but it was decided to accept
it when viewed as part of the total success of the MUSES-C plan for an
experimental engineering satellite.
However, since there are other cooperative relationships with NASA for
MUSES-C, such as those with Science and DSN (Deep Space Network), a conference
is to be held to decide ways to advance these efforts in the future.