Trump seeks $19.1 billion for NASA in budget request

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget request includes $19.1 billion for NASA, a $561 million decrease over previously enacted levels that would reduce the number of Earth science missions, eliminate the agency’s education office and do away with the Obama administration’s plans to robotically retrieve a piece of an asteroid as a precursor to eventual flights to Mars.

The budget closely reflects the administration’s blueprint, released in March, and overall, NASA’s acting administrator said America’s space program remains healthy and suffered relatively modest cuts compared to other federal agencies.

“What this budget tells us to do is keep going, keep doing what we’ve been doing, very important for us to maintain that course and move forward as an agency with all the great things we’re doing,” Robert Lightfoot told agency employees in a televised address.

“We’ve got $19.1 billion as an agency, and it really reflects the president and the administration’s confidence in us moving forward. I think you guys can take a lot of confidence in that when you see what’s happening and the overall pressure on the budget in the entire country. We did really well.”

The budget continues robust support for the $8.6 billion James Webb Space Telescope, the long-awaited successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that is scheduled for launch next year, two robotic Mars landers, a planned mission to study Jupiter’s enigmatic moon Europa from orbit — a lander is excluded — and two probes designed to study asteroids.

Relatively minor cuts were imposed on the agency’s heavy lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion deep space crew capsule, the centerpieces of plans to move beyond low-Earth orbit, first with flights to the vicinity of the moon in the 2020s followed by eventual flights to Mars in the 2030s.

“We’ve had a horizon goal for some time now of reaching Mars, and this budget sustains that work and also provides the resources to keep exploring our solar system and look beyond…

Article Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *