Expensive explorer

Published: Thursday 31 August 1995

One ofthe most controversial of scientific projects, Gravity Probe-B, has won the approval of an expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences. The project, proposed by Stanfora physicist Francis Everitt, envisages sending a probe in orbit around the Earth to test Einstein's General , Theory of Relativity (Science, Vol 268, No 5214).

Thie problem is the cost: some half a billion dollars! Scientists feel that it is too costly in these days of resource-starved pure science funding. Now it is for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to find the money for the project.

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