LOBBYING, NASA

Scientists and advocates once again seek restoration of NASA planetary funding

By Jeff Foust on 2013 January 31 at 7:18 am ET

The Planetary Society released this week a statement prepared “in collaboration” with the planetary sciences divisions of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) about the current state of NASA’s planetary sciences program. The organizations support NASA’s decision announced nearly two months ago to develop a Mars rover based on Curiosity for launch in 2020, with the caveat that the rover should be used to cache samples for later return to Earth as recommended by the 2011 planetary sciences decadal survey. “It is of the utmost importance” that the 2020 rover be a sample cacher, the statement reads, “in order to maximize science return and support a balanced and affordable approach to the exploration of our solar system.”

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