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Apparently, even travelling into space is not far enough to escape Congress' love for earmarks and pork pet projects. According to John Kelly of USA Today, NASA is being forced to cut programs in engineering, science and education to pay for Congressional pet projects. What is so important to have to cut billions of dollars in our space program development? How about:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Construction or renovation of dozens of museums, planetariums and science labs for colleges.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Computers, classrooms and lab space for colleges and schools across the U.S.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ A website and laboratory for the Gulf of Maine Aquarium.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ A sprawling headquarters building for a non-profit research group in West Virginia created by U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan. The Democrat is now subject of a broader congressional ethics probe.
And what exactly are these projects taking priority over? Take a look:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Robotic space probes face delay or cancellation as NASA tries to shuffle money.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The shuttles, International Space Station and new vehicles to carry astronauts back to the moon could see budget cuts. The last item is one NASA is now stressing to members of Congress.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Education programs are being cut, including half of the funding for the agency program that helps ensure historically minority colleges and universities are represented in NASA projects and grant programs.
It is unlikely that anything will change despite pleas from top officials at NASA.
To read more about Congress' NASA pork projects click here