California Lawmakers Rally Support for Full Funding of NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission
NASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission faces slowdown due to budget uncertainty, drawing bipartisan criticism.
Lawmakers condemn NASA's decision, calling it shortsighted and warning of job losses in California.
MSR aims to collect Martian samples; budget uncertainties prompt NASA's program slowdown.
Congress's uncertain approval raises concerns about the mission's budget and timeline.
California representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, urge NASA to reconsider the funding cut.
NASA's decision to slow MSR could impact jobs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
Lawmakers highlight NASA's role in countering China's Mars exploration efforts.
The MSR mission's cost has surged from $4 billion to an estimated $11 billion, per NASA's review.
Critics attribute budget overruns to unrealistic initial expectations for the program.
Concerns persist about job losses, a decade of lost science, and the potential impact on the workforce and scientific progress.