After a meeting with NASA last week, at which the agency wanted to meet prospective developers for the project, several sites - including Slashdot and Massively - reported that NASA wanted the game made for "free" and had decided to drop its $3 million budget.
KillTenRats, however, is reporting that the information is completely wrong and the game's budget remains intact but is to be used for NASA's participation in the game, not to pay the partner, who is supposed to commercialise the title after it's released.
Lots of shouting and caps locking going on there. Enjoy.
Update: GamerCyte's published a piece on this as well, saying NASA now has $2 million to spend.
Daniel Laughlin, project manager at NASA Learning Technologies, told the site "that approximately $1.5 million dollars is devoted to “attracting education experts to the project,” and an additional $350,000 is allocated to buying time from NASA experts in the four Mission Directorates. Both educators and NASA experts will offer their valuable knowledge and experience to game developers — something without which an educational piece of software would be rather useless."