According to NASA, technical problems have forced them to delay for about two years the launching of a landmark mission to Mars, which was scheduled to take off next year.

"We won’t be ready to launch Mars Science Lab by the hoped-for date next year", NASA administrator Michael Griffin said. "Because of a number of factors that need to be addressed, we’re slipping the launch to 2011".

The delay of the mission from its scheduled launch will add approximately US$400 million in launching the Science Laboratory Project to Mars, which aims to study whether there’s microbial life that exists in the planet, including their possible existence today.

"I’ve full confidence in the JPL team to be able to work through the difficulties, but we've determined that trying for '09 would require us to assume too much risk", Griffin said.

Ed Weiler, the associate administrator of NASA, says that the delay is necessary and it allows them to resolve of any other remaining technical malfunctions, proper and careful checking of the system.

"Failure isn’t an option on this mission. The science is too important and the investment of American taxpayer dollars compels us to be absolutely certain that we’ve done everything possible to ensure the success of this flagship planetary mission", Griffin said.

The major reason for delaying the launching of the mission were unsolved problems with the actuator motors, which according to NASA, will help carry the most highly developed suite of mechanisms significant for scientific research on the planet.

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