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NASA urged to preserve planetary science

Four powerful lawmakers have urged NASA not to cut funding for missions to Mars and other planets.

In a letter to NASA’s administrator, Charles Bolden, dated 18 April, Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both from California, joined fellow Democrat Representative Adam Schiff,from California, and Republican Representative John Culberson, from Texas, to advise the agency against such cuts.

President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2014, released on 10 April, included a $200 million cut for NASA’s Planetary Science division, down to just over $1.2 billion. In addition, the Planetary Society has warned that the budget request also contains two entirely new line items that don’t support any new or existing missions.

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