Mars Delayed, Not Lost SpaceDaily

In the previous two installments of this series, I discussed the possible causes of the Mars Polar Lander failure, and whether in combination with the MCO failure and others, it indicated that NASA should consider ditching its philosophy of “better faster cheaper”. My answer to that last question was that it depends on which part of the “BFC” philosophy you’re talking about. In the field of unmanned space exploration, chopping missions into smaller, less ambitious individual pieces is usually better — however other kinds of cost-cutting measures may not be.