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NASA: Proposed Budget Cuts ‘Set Back Generations of Progress’

posted: 05/01/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Fire in the Sky
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The aurora australis in September 2001, as observed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
NASA

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has responded to dramatic proposed budget cuts that would cripple NASA's Earth science program:

"The NASA authorization bill making its way through the House of Representatives guts our Earth science program and threatens to set back generations worth of progress in better understanding our changing climate, and our ability to prepare for and respond to earthquakes, droughts, and storm events. NASA leads the world in the exploration of and study of planets, and none is more important than the one on which we live. In addition, the bill underfunds the critical space technologies that the nation will need to lead in space, including on our journey to Mars."

The budget cuts were introduced by the Republican-led House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which claims that the new budget "restores balance" to the agency. While the bill does increase funding for certain space exploration programs, the Earth science budget drops by almost 40%.

The cuts follow a contentious exchange between Bolden and Senator Ted Cruz earlier this year, in which Cruz heavily criticized the agency's focus in recent years.

National Science Foundation and Department of Energy research programs also take hits under the proposed America COMPETES Act, with NSF's social sciences budget being completely eliminated.

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