NASA's Pluto Kuiper Express (PKE) mission is set to receive $25 million from the space agency's 2002 budget after the US Senate Appropriations Committee approved the transfer of a similar sum from an advanced propulsion initiative.

The PKE mission has been dogged by funding difficulties due to NASA budget cuts. While the Senate decision to fund the Pluto mission rather than the propulsion work is a positive step, it is not certain where the rest of the funding will come from for the $500 million project. It is hoped that fresh funding will kick-start further investment for 2003.

Source: Flight International