Thursday, June 7, 2012

NASA Cuts X-Ray Space Telescope Project

Artist's illustration of NASA's GEMS X-ray observatory, which was intended to study black holes and neutron stars.
updated 6/7/2012 3:13:57 PM ET
NASA is canceling all work on a new space telescope designed to seek out black holes and other cosmic mysteries through X-ray light due to soaring development costs, the space agency announced Thursday.
The mission, called Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS), was running significantly over budget, said Paul Hertz, director of NASA's Astrophysics Division, during a phone call to reporters Thursday.
"The GEMS project was initiated under a very well-defined cost cap," Hertz said. "As they approached their confirmation review, it was clear they would not be able to complete it within their cost cap. NASA made the very difficult decision not to confirm GEMS into the implementation phase."



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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