Committee on Science

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman

Ralph M. Hall, Texas, Ranking Democrat

May 10, 2000

Press Contacts:

Jeff Lungren (

Meredith Wisor (

(202) 225-4275


Hearing Tomorrow with NASA Administrator Goldin on Mars Program Failures

WHAT: Full Committee hearing: “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 Laboratory

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

Dr. Alan Binder, Director, Lunar Research Institute

WHEN: 10:00 AM

WHERE: 2318 Rayburn Building,


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
last month 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 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