Hugh Pickens writes "NASA's new Space Science Division Director, Dr. S. Alan Stern, appears to be making headway in keeping in space projects like the Kepler Mission at their original budgeted costs. The New York Times reports that Stern's plan is to hold projects responsible for overruns, forcing mission leaders to trim parts of their projects, streamline procedures or find other sources of financing. 'The mission that makes the mess is responsible for cleaning it up,' Stern says. Because of management problems, technical issues and other difficulties on the Kepler Mission, the price tag for Kepler went up 20% to $550 million and the launch slipped from the original 2006 target date to 2008. When the Kepler team asked for another $42 million, Stern's team threatened to open the project to new bids so other researchers could take it over using the equipment that had already been built."