NASA delays Mars mission

Thursday, December 4th 2008, 12:10 pm
By: News 9

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A NASA insider says the space agency is delaying launch of a giant Mars robotic mission.
   The Mars Science Laboratory was scheduled to fly next year. But the project has been dogged by cost increases and technical challenges. The launch has been postponed until 2011.
   The delay was announced Thursday to mission scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. That's according to a person who attended the meeting who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the information has not been made public.
   NASA will hold a news conference at its Washington, D.C. headquarters later Thursday.
   The Mars Science Lab is billed as the most advanced spacecraft to probe the Martian surface.