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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
- About Us
Obama Wants the News From Mars ASAP
13 August 2012 5:30 pm
President Barack Obama wants to hear immediately from NASA if its Curiosity rover discovers life on Mars. In an 8-minute telephone call today to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which built and operates the $2.5 billion rover, the president told lab Director Charles Elachi that such a discovery would “go to the top of the list” of things on his agenda. "Even if they're just microbes, it will be pretty exciting."
Obama used the conversation to tout his Administration’s regard for science education. "They're telling their moms and dads they want to be part of a Mars mission—maybe even the first person to walk on Mars. And that kind of inspiration is the byproduct of work of the sort that you guys have done,” he told the JPL team, which is part of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He also extended “a personal commitment to protect these critical investments in science and technology."
The president’s sweeping endorsement of research, however, carefully avoids the fact that his 2013 budget would cut funding for NASA’s Mars exploration program by nearly one-third and end the country’s role in two Mars missions planned jointly with the European Space Agency for later in the decade. Both the House of Representatives and a Senate spending panel have added back money for Mars exploration, although Congress is unlikely to settle on a final budget for the agency until next spring.