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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Planetary Science Is Busting Budgets
26 July 2012 2:06 pm
A U.S. consensus committee has recommended the return of rock and soil samples as the next logical step for Mars exploration and the highest priority in solar system science. Sample return also answers NASA's call for new missions to be "aspirational" (read: bigger and better by an order of magnitude and going where no one has gone before). But with budget cuts, even Mars sample return is no shoo-in. Next month a NASA committee will report on how the agency might proceed with Mars exploration. Ominously, all the options will involve hitching planetary science to human spaceflight—a chancy proposition. The outcome could determine whether Mars, or any planetary body, will rate one of NASA's multibillion-dollar "flagship" missions in the next decade.