Controversy Flares Up Over NASA Solar Project

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Science  28 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5479, pp. 528-530
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5479.528

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In February, the president requested a $20 million downpayment on a 12-year, $1-billion-plus effort, called Living With a Star, to launch a flotilla of satellites to study the sun and the streams of particles it hurls into space. The data are expected to give researchers critical insight into the sun's inner workings as well as a window on space weather, which has a profound effect on Earth's climate as well as terrestrial communications. But the initiative has become mired in controversy that includes a bureaucratic tug-of-war, a debate over research goals, and questions about the propriety of a lucrative contract to manage it.