More than 90 percent of planetary science in the U.S. is funded by NASA – this includes people who work directly for the space agency, and scientists who apply for research grants, which can make up a big portion of their salary. Currently, planetary science research grant programs are arranged in dozens of groups. Now NASA wants to consolidate some of these programs.
To a lay person, this might not seem like a big deal. But the bureaucratic devil is in the details.