NASA financial plan: slashes extraterrestrial funds

President Barack Obama's 2013 budget request for NASA would slash spending on Mars exploration and shift funds to human spaceflight and space technology. In 2014, while the budget is flat, the agency needs to pay for its flagship James Webb Space Telescope mission, the budget for which is projected to rise from $476.8m in 2011 to $659m.

According to NASA it will work with associates to expand an integrated Mars strategy although detail was scant on this point. The Mars Science Laboratory rover will land on the Red Planet this year and the Maven assignment, to study the Martian atmosphere, will still go to the lead in 2013. However, the proposals are unlikely to be waived through in assembly and it is credible the last figures will be to some extent different.

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