NASA Postpones Rover Two Years; Ed Weiler Invents New Way to Say “You’re Screwed”

As if America didn’t have enough problems with building motor vehicles, NASA announced today that it was postponing the nuclear-powered, car-sized Mars rover by two years because of technical problems. Fortunately for the space agency, this is only like the 27th worst thing to the hit the country over the last couple of months. It’s very likely that no one will really notice.

Aviation Week reports the decision came after much effort, will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and have a serious effect on the rest of the space agency’s science portfolio:

“NASA, which has been struggling to keep MSL on track for months, formally postponed the launch date Wednesday and announced it today. The change will likely force postponements in other science missions, as the U.S. space agency struggles to find the estimated $400 million more the delay will cost in fiscal Years 2010-2014.

“‘We would have liked to have launched in 2009, followed up with our Mars Scout in 2013, and then a 2016 mission,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for science. ‘That’s going to have to be relooked at. Maybe we’ll still have a good 2016 mission because we do it in consort with the European Space Agency.'”