Uncertainty of Budget Is Hindering NASA’s Contract and Awards for Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)
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Uncertainty of Budget Is Hindering NASA’s Contract and Awards for Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

NASA seems to be unfortunate enough to carry out its contract and awards for Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The award which was scheduled to be given earlier this year is postponed to few more months because of the uncertainty of agency’s budget, suggested the Space News yesterday. From the statements given by some officials of NASA are hinting towards the vagueness about the financial budget of the agency, which in other ways are having an effect on the programmed ARM award mission.

The news about the rescheduled ARM Award event came to the forefront, after the general body meeting of NASA held on 11th January. The conference, conducted on Jan. 11 consisted of NASA’s Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) and took place in Tucson, Arizona. The news sourced from this meeting confirmed by benefactors of a premeditated European asteroid mission when they said, they were considering cutting down their mission of giving an award for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) as they failing to get financial support from the European Space Agency. However, the rescheduled plan will not impinge on the overall ARM program, and it will still be in effect for the launch of the robotic mission in 2021.

Currently, the contract and award program has been postponed to some more months, but the certainty about its effect is still a matter of question. The revised agenda will hold up the awards for the ARM and some other contracts until the authorization of a full-grown appropriations budget for 2017 or a revolutionary conclusion to pull out the CR for the rest of the current financial year, which in other ways will provide more conviction about the endowment presented for ARM.

Commenting on this matter, Michele Gates, the program director for ARM at NASA Headquarters said; “NASA has postponed the schedule of ARM contract award due to some official reason. The program which previously was scheduled to hold in April has been rescheduled for May of this fiscal year. The award which is planned to be given for the spacecraft bus of the robotic constituent of ARM will be taken place in May, instead of April. In addition, the agency also has also deferred the decorations of hosted payloads that would take wing on the robotic ARM mission, alongside the selection of affiliates of an “investigation team” for the ARM Program, from April to June.”