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All NASA funding for ESA’s unmanned ExoMars mission appears to have been cut by the Obama administration.
A public announcement by Nasa of its withdrawal from the ExoMars programme, as it is known in Europe, will probably come once President Obama’s 2013 Federal Budget Request is submitted. This request, expected in the coming days, will give the US space agency a much clearer view of how much money it has to implement its various projects. “The Americans have indicated that the possibility of them participating is now low – very low. It’s highly unlikely,” said Alvaro Gimenez, Esa’s director of science.
Though this story doesn’t confirm the earlier rumors that the Obama administration was going to eliminate the entire NASA planetary program, it sure lends those rumors further weight. However, the new budget should be released any day now, when we will finally find out.