Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) this week announced his opposition to any budget cuts at NASA that would threaten the agency's planetary science programs, including missions to Mars and Jupiter's icy moon.
In a statement, Schiff said he met with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Thursday to express his concerns over reports of massive funding cuts in the space agency's 2013 budget proposal, which is scheduled to be released on Monday.
Calling the deep-space missions a “priceless national asset” with long-term benefits to our understanding of the solar system and worldwide prestige, Schiff said he advised Bolden against the “ill-considered cuts” and pledged “to do everything in my power to restore the Mars budget and to ensure American leadership in space exploration.”
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, from which many of the agency's deep space missions are operated, endured a round of lay-offs last year due to budget cuts.
It's unclear how another large funding hit would impact the JPL facility.