Next week, planetary scientists building instruments for a 2016 Mars mission called Trace Gas Orbiter will update a committee advising NASA on its Mars exploration program. But they'll also be grilling NASA officials attending the meeting on the Obama Administration's decision last week to kill the mission, one of two joint efforts with the European Space Agency dubbed ExoMars. The president's 2013 budget request eliminates funding for the 2016 mission, which received $27 million this year, as part of a 20% cut to NASA's planetary science division.
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