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PERESTROIKA TRIGGERS CUTS IN SOVIET SPACE PROGRAM

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Mikhail Gorbachev's restructuring of the Soviet Union has brought cutbacks in its space program and endless discussion, said Leonid Ksanfomality, a Soviet space scientist.

"We're learning freedom is not free," Ksanfomality told engineering and physicists students at the University of Utah. "Now we're trying to understand its implications."Ksanfomality, director of the space physics laboratory at the Space Research Institute in Moscow, is on a tour of six U.S. universities.

"With perestroika, we now have many discussions and proposals and it's more difficult to work," said Ksanfomality, who designed experiments for Soviet unmanned missions to the moon, Venus and the moons of Mars.

"Before, scientists at the Space Institute had privileges," he said. "Now other institutes and groups submit proposals that sometimes are better than ours. It may take some years, but we will find a good combination of responsibility and democracy."

This month Soviet leaders will consider approval for a mission to Mars, slated to be launched in 1994. Ksanfomality said if the project is not approved soon, the mission may be delayed for years.

Soviet scientists have designed a six-wheeled rover that can transverse rocks as high as four feet for the next mission to Mars, he said Tuesday. In that mission, soil samples will be collected and returned to Earth.

Missions will be unmanned because more experiments can be conducted for less money, and robots are more cost effective and efficient.