Science: The Future of NASA

"We are at the peril point," declared NASA Administrator Thomas Paine. With that gloomy but accurate assessment of the space agency earlier this year, he announced one more in a series of cuts in staff and work schedules. Last week the 48-year-old former General Electric executive made an even more telling comment: he quit himself. Though Paine insists that his resignation was not an act of protest against continuing reductions in the space agency's budget, he obviously sees a better future back with G.E.

Only a year after its triumphant conquest of the moon,...

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