NASA Administrator Charles Bolden likely expected a better reception when he testified before the Senate appropriators on March 10. After all, his agency had racked up some impressive achievements over the previous year. Last July, the New Horizons probe whizzed by Pluto and beamed back astonishing images of the previously unexplored dwarf planet. And on March 1, astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after spending nearly a year in space on board the International Space Station, sharing his spectacular view from orbit with the entire world.
But instead of receiving congratulations from the Appropriations Committee for his agency’s recent accomplishments, Bolden got a blast of bipartisan criticism of the Obama administration’s proposed NASA budget. Republican committee chairman Senator Richard Shelby said that “NASA has failed to propose a truthful budget that can accomplish the agency’s goals.” The committee’s ranking Democrat, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, was equally critical, saying she wanted to work with her Republican counterpart “to reorder NASA’s priorities.”This article was originally published in Wired.