decisions and on the easy access to technology already developed. The tight time schedule forced swift decisions and lowered costs, but also took a human toll. The stringent budget and the firm limitations on reserves guaranteed that the mission would be relatively inexpensive, but surely reduced the mission's capability, may have made it less cost-effective, and perhaps ultimately led to the loss of the spacecraft before the completion of the asteroid flyby component of the mission.
For the most part, within its constrained lunar science objectives, Clementine was successful. Because of various factors, Clementine's costs were significantly less than most comparable space science missions might be. Since Clementine was not planned originally as a science mission and did not have science as a primary objective, funds were not allocated for instrument development and scientific calibration, or for data reduction and analysis. Nevertheless, Clementine validated the concept that, with proper operational profiles, small missions (such as those in the Discovery and MidEx programs) are capable of accomplishing significant research in space science.
Clementine also demonstrated the usefulness to space science of missions emphasizing the testing of innovative technologies, fresh management styles, and new approaches to spacecraft operations. Future missions of this type should be initiated provided that they are capable of achieving first-class science and that the scientific community is actively involved in them as early as possible.
The extent to which traditional NASA programs could or should follow this model is unclear at present. What is clear is that Clementine provides an existence proof that a small team of non-NASA researchers can successfully assume the overall responsibility for a deep-space mission.