Science: Peril Point at NASA

Fascinating as the Eros project sounds, NASA may well have to pass up the opportunity. Besieged by criticism and budgetary cutbacks, the space agency announced last week that it would have to trim 50,000 men from its 190,000-man work force, already down by half from the 1966 high of 400,000. Admitted NASA Administrator Thomas Paine: "We are at the peril point."

More than jobs will be lost. After delivery of the last of the 15 Saturn 5s already purchased, NASA plans to suspend production of the mighty rockets. Seven of the eight remaining Saturns will be used for lunar landings, spaced six...

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