NASA Seeks To Readjust Lunar Robotic Program – Again

By Keith Cowing
March 16, 2007
Filed under
NASA Seeks To Readjust Lunar Robotic Program – Again

According to NASA sources, the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP) office at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is either being totally shut down or dramatically reduced in size with lunar mission coordination moving back to NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC – after making a cross country tour first from NASA HQ to Ames Research Center (ARC) in California, then later from Ames to MSFC in Alabama.

Meanwhile, contracts are being terminated for robotics work given that the number of post-LRO robotics programs has begun to shrink rather dramatically.

It is almost certain that such changes will be reflected in the agency’s new Operating Plan.

According to NASA PAO: “NASA hopes to be sending the draft Operating Plan to Congress for review this week. By law, Congress will have 15 days to review this draft and send comments back to NASA. After we [NASA] have worked with Congress and the final Operations Plan is in place, NASA will be able to discuss specific aspects of the plan. It would be inappropriate for NASA to comment on draft version of this plan as they are circulated on Capitol Hill for congressional review.”

Meanwhile, the LPRP website is totally non-functional right now. Indeed, until mention was made of this on NASA Watch the other day, the website lacked content said simply that this website was “Last Updated: 31 December 1969” i.e. just after Apollo 12.

The website is now offline and you get this note: “The website you have entered is under beta, and is unavailable at this time.” Here is what it looked like before someone finally decided to do something.

If this was truly a vibrant, long-term activity for MSFC, you’d think that someone at MSFC would at least have devoted the resources to operate a functional website a long time ago. GSFC has a nice LRO website and ARC has a nice LCROSS website.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.