Seems sensible for something that may well get cancelled sooner rather than later.
NASA is delaying contracts and other awards planned for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) early this year by a few months, citing uncertainty about the agency’s budget.
The news about the revised ARM schedule, discussed Jan. 11 at a meeting of NASA’s Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) in Tucson, Arizona, came as backers of a planned European asteroid mission said they were working to scale down their mission after failing to win funding from the European Space Agency.
Michele Gates, program director for ARM at NASA Headquarters, said NASA has delayed the award of a contract for the spacecraft bus for the robotic element of ARM from this March until May. It has also delayed awards of hosted payloads that would fly on the robotic mission, as well as selection of members of an “investigation team” for the mission, from April to June.
- See more at: http://spacenews.com/asteroid-missions-face-delays-and-restructuring/#sthash.DrZcGSi7.dpuf