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Nasa 2013 Budget Slashes Mars Spend

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Nasa 2013 Budget Slashes Mars Spend
Nasa 2013 Budget Slashes Mars Spend

Nasa's proposed 2013 budget has slashed the space agency's spend on Mars missions, Discovery News reports.

The US $17.7 billion budget for Nasa in 2013 proposed by President Obama, will see a 20 percent cut to the planetary science missions, and will include a boost to space technology and human exploration, according to Space.com.

The BBC last week reported that the slashed funding means the US will pull out of its joint EU missions to Mars.

In a statement received by Huffington Post, Nasa administrator Charles Bolden said. "This budget in-sources jobs, creates capabilities here at home -- and strengthens our workforce, all while opening the next great chapter in American exploration,"

"And as we reach for new heights in space, we're creating new jobs right here on Earth, helping to support an economy that's built to last."

The joint EU/US ExoMars project, was meant to launch a satellite to orbit the red planet in 2016 to detect methane and other trace gases in the atmosphere there. A landing craft was then to be launched in 2018 to drill into the planet's surface.

The budget also includes $627.6 million for the James Webb Space Telescope, the follow-up to the famous Hubble telescope.

The James Webb will launch in 2018 at a cost of $8.8 billion, according to Softpedia, and will be the most complex and advanced observatory ever deployed.

Space.com prepared an infographic of how the Nasa 2013 budget compares to the US military and health spend.

The Nasa Mars mission has so far found evidence of flowing water, explored the way wind and frost affects the Martian surface and evidence that an ocean may have covered part of the planet.

Nasa's budget in 2011 was US $18.4 billion, in 2012 it was US $17.7 billion, and is .1 billion less for 2013.

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