Some leading space experts are worried a lack of money and vision in Washington could threaten the future of the U.S. space exploration program to the advantage of other countries.
Priorities like the James Webb Space Telescope and missions to retrieve rock samples from Mars risk being unduly delayed - or scuttled – by budget-related pressures roiling Capitol Hill, they lamented.
The concerns arose during a forum sponsored by the Planetary Society in Washington today.
"We are at a watershed moment," said Scott Hubbard, a Stanford University astronautics professor who served as NASA's first Mars Program director.
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