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News briefs: November 16
Posted: Sat, Nov 17, 2001, 5:16 AM ET (1016 GMT)
Pluto-Kuiper Express spacecraft illustration
  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is pressuring planetary scientists to drop plans for a Pluto mission and concentrate on an Europa orbiter, SpaceDaily and SpaceRef reported Friday. OMB officials said earlier in the week that there is not enough money available to NASA in future years for both, despite $30 million in funding in 2002 for a Pluto mission approved by Congress. This development is especially significant as the deputy director of OMB, Sean O'Keefe, is in line to be the next NASA administrator.
  • The employees of NASA bid farewell to Dan Goldin in a ceremony Friday morning. Goldin was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal during the event at NASA Headquarters. In brief remarks, Goldin urged employees not to succumb to criticism by the news media and Congress. Goldin officially retires from NASA on Saturday.
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