Committee on Science

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman

Ralph M. Hall, Texas, Ranking Democrat

June 19, 2000

Press Contact:

Jeff Lungren (

(202) 225-4275


Hearing Tomorrow with NASA Administrator Goldin on Mars Program Failures

WHAT: Full Committee hearing on NASA’s Mars Program after
the Young Report, Part II


The Honorable Daniel S. Goldin, Administrator, National
Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Edward Stone, Director, Jet Propulsion

Dr. Pedro Rustan, Colonel (retired), U.S.
Air Force

Dr. Alan Binder, Director, Lunar Research

WHEN: 1:00 PM

WHERE: 2318 Rayburn Building, Washington


Tomorrow’s Full Committee hearing continues the Committee’s look into NASA’s
Mars program and the mission failures last year. Last September, NASA’s
Mars Climate Orbiter mission failed due to one project group using English
units and one using metric units. Three months later, NASA’s Mars Polar
Lander was lost as well. A blue-ribbon panel established by NASA
Administrator Dan Goldin reviewed these losses, estimated at $328 million,
and issued a report. Panel Chair Tom Young testified before the Committee
in April on his findings of numerous management lapses and poor
decisionmaking throughout the Mars program, including a failure to
thoroughly test the mission flight environment. Tomorrow’s hearing,
originally scheduled for May 11th, provides Committee Members their first
opportunity to review NASA’s plans to address the management shortcomings
identified in the Young report.

Please contact the Science Committee’s press office at 202-225-4275 for more