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NASA budget nearly flat for 2013

  |   Feb. 14, 2012 at 6:37 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The proposed 2013 budget for NASA would be decreased by just $59 million but would cut deep into some space science and planetary missions, U.S. officials said.

However, the proposed budget does include some increases for space technology development and human space exploration, the U.S. Office of Management of Budget said Monday.

The total proposed budget is $17.7 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent from the 2012 enacted level.

Astronomical observatories and robotic solar system explorers, including the James Webb Space Telescope -- successor to the Hubble telescope -- and a mission to return samples from an asteroid are funded in the proposed budget.

The budget retains funding for the development of a new heavy-lift rocket and crew capsule for human space exploration

Also in the budget is money to re-purpose NASA's former space shuttle launch facilities at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida into a launch complex to efficiently support programs such as the Space Launch System and commercial operators.

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