Explorer Program downscaled to keep pace with high flight rate theme


  • J. Wakefield


The days of the $200 million-plus or Delta-class missions of the Explorer program are coming to an end, NASA decided earlier this month. The news may be music to the ears of some space physicists and astrophysicists, who have been calling for more frequent flight opportunities.

Associate Administrator for Space Science Wesley Huntress Jr. announced more than a week ago that NASA is canceling the $250 million Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission which was slated to start in fiscal year 1995 and be launched in the year 2000. NASA will go ahead, however, with the planned launch in 1997 of the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), which will become the last Delta-class mission to fly.