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Workers put final touches to the two new Mars exploration rovers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2003.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada is preparing for bad news during an announcement about NASA's budget. The lab is anticipating major cuts, the Pasadena Star-News reports.
The space agency's 2013 budget and planetary exploration operations are expected to take a hit.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of Pasadena says he had a tense meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Thursday. Though he's vowing to fight the cuts, Schiff says planetary science and the Mars program are expected to face "absolutely devastating" cuts. And Schiff says if joint missions with the European Space Agency are scrapped, JPL will likely be deeply affected.
JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor says the company has already laid off about 240 employees between 2010 and 2011 because of previous budget cuts.