JPL funding

Scientist and engineers stand next to a duplicate of the Mars Rover Curiosity at JPL. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / February 22, 2012)

Don't cut planetary science funding, members of Congress urged NASA on Friday.

In a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), urged the space agency to maintain funding levels for missions to Mars and the outer planets that were allocated by Congress this spring -- and not to react to budget pressures by making disproportionate cuts to the science budget.

"While we fully understand that the funding levels ... are subject to change to reflect across-the-board and sequester cuts, we expect that the balance among programs will remain consistent with the structure directed by Congress," they wrote.

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