NASA’s Mars Planning Program Group (MPPG), armed with an array of new ideas for exploring the red planet in the wake of budget cuts, is now preparing to send its recommendations forward to the murky realm of Washington politics, with its reputation for bold visions and vague follow-through. “Budget is the driver. It’s not a matter of what you can do. It’s a matter of when you can do it,” says Doug McCuistion, NASA’s Mars Program director and co-host, along with the NASA-funded Lunar ...


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