Space research budget threatened

A group of 125 scientists have urged the government and its scientific advisory bodies not to cut spending on experiments in space, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

Government institute KNAW is recommending the €700,000 a year the Netherlands allocates to research in a weightless environment be stopped because it does not generate enough returns.
‘The fund was meant as an encouragement but if after 10 years there are few results, then you should stop it,’ KNAW physicist Marnix van der Wiel told the paper.
The scientists point out that the Netherlands contributes €4.1m a year to the upkeep of the international space station ISS. And, they argue, the Netherlands is one of the few countries to actually benefit from research in space.
For example, light bulbs for public places which Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers tested in 2004 are generating annual savings of some €25m a year, they claim.

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