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New Budget Delays or Cancels Much-Promoted NASA Missions

By DENNIS OVERBYE
The New York Times

Some of the most highly promoted missions on NASA’s scientific agenda would be postponed indefinitely or perhaps even canceled under the agency’s new budget, despite its administrator’s vow to Congress six months ago that not “one thin dime” would be taken from space science to pay for President Bush’s plan to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars….

Among the casualties in the budget, released last month, are efforts to look for habitable planets and perhaps life elsewhere in the galaxy, an investigation of the dark energy that seems to be ripping the universe apart, bringing a sample of Mars back to Earth and exploring for life under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa — as well as numerous smaller programs and individual research projects that astronomers say are the wellsprings of new science and new scientists….

The cuts have alarmed and outraged many scientists, who have long feared that NASA will have to cannibalize its science program to carry out the president’s vision of human spaceflight.

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