Proposed cuts in planetary science take center stage

NASA officials endure slings and arrows of outraged researchers

By Nadia Drake, 16:56 PM March 20, 2012

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — “I think I’m not supposed to say ‘got whacked.’ Am I allowed to say ‘got whacked?’” asked John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for science, while considering how to describe the cuts dealt to planetary sciences in President Obama’s proposed 2013 NASA budget.

It’s no secret that planetary sciences got hit badly, cut by more than $300 million (more than 20%) from the year before. Funds are running kind of like water on present-day Mars — one of the hardest-hit ...

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