The Administration just released its proposed budget for 2014 and it contains some very bad news for NASA's planetary exploration program.
Our initial review shows a cut of over $200 million from the previous year – a cut that will strangle future missions and reverse a decade's worth of investment building the world's premier exploration program.
Just three weeks ago the U.S. Congress rejected similar cuts proposed for planetary exploration last year. It was a clear statement of support by both Congress and the public: planetary exploration is an affordable national priority.
In other areas of the budget, NASA got approval to pursue a mission to capture and move an asteroid. This is intriguing and will receive a good deal of press coverage. But the disproportionate cuts to planetary science are disappointing and must get coverage, too. NASA did not get the message from Congress and the public about their wishes for missions to distant worlds.
We can restore funding to planetary exploration in 2014. We've done it before. Let's do it again.
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