Space: January 1, 2000


The loss of the Mars Polar Lander could have serious impact on the International Space Station (and the Russian space program). Congress is out for the blood of NASA administrator Daniel Goldin, and doesn't believe much of what he says about the ISS or the Mars program. He will be forced to accept a blue ribbon panel to evaluate the failure of the Mars probes, and this panel will inevitable lay the blame on NASA's management problems. Goldin will not be able to keep his job unless he accepts the Blue Ribbon panel's advice and confronts those management problems, even if this means firing a host of other top officials. Congress is concerned that NASA has, too often, stood behind the Russian space program despite its failure to deliver space station components on time. --Stephen V Cole


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