Panel votes to scuttle space telescope

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"The project is 75 percent complete and supports 2,000 jobs, including 500 in my state of Maryland. While there is reasonable cause for concern regarding NASA’s management of the project, eliminating this important and ambitious project is truly short-sighted," she said.

Edwards said she worries about the message sent to students by cutting projects aimed at advancing research and technology.

NASA has been the target of frequent cuts in recent years, as the Obama administration has looked to boost the commercial space industry. The president addressed the future of NASA after the retirement of the space shuttle program this year during Wednesday's Twitter town hall.

"Frankly, I have been pushing NASA to revamp its vision. The shuttle did some extraordinary work in low-orbit experiments, the International Space Station, moving cargo," Obama said.

"But now what we need is that next technological breakthrough. We’re still using the same models for space travel that we used with the Apollo program 30, 40 years ago," Obama said.

The president said NASA is currently redefining its mission by investing in basic research with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars. He said the private sector could handle the more routine lower-orbit space travel.