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NASA pulls out of astrophysics missions

Europe now on its own for spacecraft to study black holes, gravitational waves

3:41pm, April 18, 2011

Two proposed space missions to study supermassive black holes and other high-energy phenomena have fallen into NASA’s gaping budget hole. Both missions were collaborations between NASA and the European Space Agency. When NASA recently determined that it could not come up with its share of funding for astrophysics research over the next few years, ESA decided it would have to scrap the projects as now envisioned. A third mission, planned by NASA alone, also appears to be in jeopardy.

One of the missions, known as LISA, short for Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, would have

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