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Michele Gates: NASA to Discontinue Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA will move to shutter its Asteroid Redirect Mission after agency leadership defunded the project due to a lack of support from Congress, Space News reported Wednesday.

Michele Gates, ARM program director, told NASA’s Small Bodies Assessment Group at a meeting Tuesday the agency will continue to develop proposed technologies for the mission despite the cancellation of the project.

“We are in an orderly closeout phase, capturing all the good work that has been done across the team, and transitioning activities as appropriate to other potential missions or archived for future use,” said Gates.

She added the agency will preserve other elements of the ARM project such to planetary defense approaches and near-Earth asteroid research efforts.

NASA also dropped plans to award a contract for the development of an ARM robotic spacecraft bus as well as cancelled efforts to select hosted payload proposals and enlist a research team for the defunded robotic mission.

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