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Congratulations to NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the industry team that was a real part of their success in reaching the surface of the Red Planet. Today's successful landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover is further proof of the benefits of our investments in space exploration - investments that pay off both in scientific discovery and by inspiring millions of young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - careers vital to our nation's future.
Yet sadly, there is no follow-on planned for Curiosity and NASA is struggling to come up with a plan for future Mars exploration in a challenging budget environment. If a federal budget sequester were to occur, NASA would be cut by $1.6 billion in less than five months - devastating its ability to keep having successes like today's landing.
Our nation must get its budget deficit under control but not at the expense of investments in NASA that truly show our nation is "Second to None".