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Appropriations Bill Threatens Future Space Science Missions 233

ColdWetDog writes "A brief story in the Atlantic notes that the U.S. Senate's energy appropriations bill has failed to supply funds to continue Plutonium-238 production, needed for radioisotope generators for NASA's interplanetary probe programs. No PU-238 means no more missions like Cassini-Huygens, or ones that go places where solar cells won't produce enough power. The article notes that the only other source of PU-238 is Russia — either through the government or through trolling through Siberia and the Russian coastline looking for old Soviet Era lighthouses and power stations."

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