BOULDER — Some of Boulder's biggest brains will be on the Pearl Street Mall this weekend — shining shoes.

Local gurus of the cosmos will join their astro-brethren across the country Saturday for the National Planetary Exploration Car Wash & Bake Sale, an event organized by Alan Stern, associate vice president of the Southwest Research Institute's Space Science and Engineering Division in Boulder, to call attention to the deep budget cuts being proposed for NASA's planetary science program.

President Barack Obama's proposed 2013 budget calls for cutting the program by $309 million, a decrease of more than 20 percent. The proposed cuts have spurred planetary scientists into action — writing letters and testifying before Congress — but Stern wanted to get the word out to the public in a way they'd remember.

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