The BBC's Astronomers want public funds for intelligent life search says:
Nasa once funded the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence to the tune of $10m a year. But the funding was scrapped in 1993 following the introduction of legislation by Senator Richard Bryan, who believed it to be a waste of money.
"This hopefully will be the end to the Martian hunting season at the taxpayer's expense," he said at the time.
Question: How did NASA fund searches for extraterrestrial life before 1993? Did it supply grants to academic institutions for example, or do the work itself? How were said searches actually done? Were there instruments built, or simulations run, or studies for example?
just fyi, the article continues
There has been no significant public funding for Seti in the US or anywhere else in the world since, although so-called astrobiology searches for evidence of simple organisms from the chemical signatures in the atmosphere's of other worlds receives increasing backing.