Technology Is Essential, But It's a Tough Sell

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 39
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5552.39

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Planetary scientists are facing the daunting prospect of planning 21st century explorations of hostile regions of the solar system with technology largely unchanged since the 1970s heyday of the field. The problem is twofold: Developing new technology is not as exciting as sending a probe into deep space, and the public and politicians are nervous over the use of nuclear fuel, whether to supply electricity for operating instruments or for propulsion.