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Explore Mars event
Report: administration to cut planetary science funding
Posted: Fri, Feb 10, 2012, 6:31 AM ET (1131 GMT)
NASA The Obama Administration's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal will include a 20-percent cut in NASA's planetary science program, likely killing planned cooperation with Europe on Mars exploration. The Washington Post reported Thursday that the 2013 budget proposal, scheduled for release on Monday, will cut NASA's planetary science program budget from $1.5 billion in 2012 to $1.2 billion in 2013, with additional cuts projected out to 2017. Those cuts are expected to spell the end of plans to work with ESA on a joint Mars exploration program that included a 2016 orbiter and 2018 lander and rover. The cuts are thought to be due at least in part to help cover the increased costs of the James Webb Space Telescope. At least two members of the House appropriations committee have said they would move to block those cuts when they take up the agency's budget later this year.
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