- News Home
10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
6 May 2003 (All day)
PARIS--In a move designed to eliminate its current budget crisis, the French space agency CNES announced last week that it will pull the plug on the ill-fated $350 million NetLander mission to study martian weather and geology and will ax its $9.3 million contribution to the U.S.-led Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST).
CNES's predicament was caused by poor control of its budget over a number of years, leaving it with more missions than it could afford. When the problem was identified last year, the budget was overcommitted by $100 million. Cutting costs and carrying over some expenditures shaved that to $39 million by year's end, and last week's cuts were intended to finish balancing the books. The belt-tightening should give CNES a new "margin for maneuver" by 2005, says CNES president Yannick d'Escatha.
NetLander had looked vulnerable ever since NASA's decision last month not to provide a launcher and to stop funding for the mission (Science, 2 May, p. 719). There is still a chance that the European Space Agency (ESA) may adopt the mission; the CNES board said last week that from now on the agency will pursue Mars exploration through ESA. CNES will also punt on GLAST, a gamma ray telescope to study the most violent and energetic objects in the universe, such as merging neutron stars or supermassive black holes.
Other casualties include Pléïades, a small Earth-observing satellite, and Megha-Tropiques, a Franco-Indian mission to study the water cycle in the tropical atmosphere. In all, 10 missions will be scrapped or frozen, saving the agency $450 million between now and 2008. Nevertheless, d'Escatha says CNES will need its $760 million annual budget to be increased by 1% in 2004 and 2005 if it is to maintain its slimmed-down program.