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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Space Science, Triana Face Senate Threat
20 September 1999 7:00 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Vice President Al Gore's pet spacecraft, Triana, may face opposition on the Senate floor here this week when lawmakers consider the funding bill for NASA and the National Science Foundation. The $75 million project, slated for launch at the end of next year, would provide real-time pictures of Earth as well as ultraviolet images for researchers. But a NASA inspector-general's report released on 10 September severely criticized the program for exceeding its original cost estimate by 50% and suggested the agency gather the data using existing satellites.
Ghassem Asrar, NASA's earth science chief, defends the project as "tremendously valuable," adding that the cost increases stemmed from a decision to add several scientific instruments to the spacecraft. The House voted earlier this month to deny all funding to the project. The Senate Appropriations Committee included money for Triana, but NASA officials say they expect a challenge on the Senate floor. A loss there could spell the end for the program.
The Senate is also expected to approve a $120 million cut in NASA's space science budget request for 2000--for a total budget $43 million below the 1999 budget of $2.1 billion. Although that cut is less drastic than the $240 million reduction proposed by the House earlier this month, it would be enough to force delays in a host of missions, according to NASA space science chief Ed Weiler.
As a whole, NASA fared much better than its space science division: The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved the $13.6 billion requested by the Administration for 2000, but added $100 million to the $1 billion earmarked for aerospace technologies. The need to accommodate that addition plus tens of millions of dollars for pork projects, some of which, such as a field museum on soil ecosystems, are unrelated to space, led legislators to reduce funding for the agency's space science programs, according to agency and White House officials.