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French government cuts CNES budget
Posted: Fri, Sep 27, 2002, 10:48 AM ET (1448 GMT)
The French government plans to reduce the budget of its space agency, CNES, by nearly 2.7 percent in 2003, raising concerns about its ability to participate in future joint Mars missions. Space News reported this week that CNES will receive 1.307 billion euros (US$1.28 billion) in 2003, a drop of 36 million euros (US$35.3 million) from 2002. Part of the cut will be offset by using funds France contributed to ESA in 2002 but gone unused to cover part of its 2003 contribution to ESA. However, Space News reported that the drop in the budget has raised questions about France’s ability to participate in a joint Mars sample return mission with the US that would take place no sooner that early next decade.
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