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Science and Technology

NASA Glenn gets money and a key role in the Obama budget
Even with the threat of a sequester, the space center says it's proven itself through its work

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M.L. Schultze
NASA's Human Asteroid Initiative
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The president’s budget allots nearly $700 million for the NASA Glenn Research Center. And, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, even if it doesn’t all come through, the Cleveland-based center sees it an important affirmation.

NASA Glenn's future role

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Not even a decade ago, the NASA Glenn center near the Cleveland Hopkins airport was in a lot of trouble. NASA was seriously considering shutting down the smallest of its centers.

But the budget President Obama released Wednesday morning sets Glenn’s share at nearly $700 million and makes in a key part of a solar propulsion project that would be used to wrangle asteroids into the moon’s orbit – and could be a major step toward deep-space exploration.

Director Jim Free says NASA has staked itself to important, practical and inspirational work.

“Glenn has the technology this agency (NASA) needs to move forward. We do tremendous work in aeronautics around environmentally responsible aircraft, reducing emissions, which is key to the future of the country and dependence on oil; reducing noise, how these aircraft sound around homes is critical.”

The asteroid project could be in place as early as 2021, and could help scientists figure out how to keep a massive asteroid from crashing into the earth. Beyond that, says Free, it could inspire a new generation of astronauts, engineers and scientists. 

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