NASA and Intel

It’s rare to hear the head of computing giant Intel talk about NASA or space policy in general, but in an interview with the magazine Industry Week Intel CEO Craig Barrett does mention NASA’s budget as part of a larger discussion of R&D spending in the US:

Additionally, there were substantial increases for the NASA budget this year, but most of this money is for facilities support and operations — not research. The President’s vision of a human on Mars cannot be realized without a substantial new and continuing commitment to basic physical sciences research.

It’s not clear what Barrett is referring to when he says that NASA’s budget increase went into “facilities support and operations”. A bigger question is, while physical sciences research is important in general, how critical is it to the Vision?

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