NASA's Budget Increased by Over a Billion Dollars

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 - 9:50AM
Science News
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 - 9:50AM
NASA's Budget Increased by Over a Billion Dollars
Congress has finally revealed their plans for funding federal government programs in 2016, including NASA, and it's great news for science and space enthusiasts. Next year, Congress is increasing the space agency's budget to a whopping $19.3 billion, almost $1 billion more than last year.

The Planetary Science division, in particular, is receiving a big infusion of funds, as Congress has increased their spending to $1.6 billion for 2016. The program was initially going to be cut from last year, but the recent Congress omnibus is $270 million more than the President's request. The President's proposal would have cut funds for both the MER Opportunity Rover and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, but now they both have the means to continue science operations. 

This bill also provides substantial funding for upcoming missions; $175 million was allocated to the Europa mission, with an additional $25 million intended for "icy satellites surface technology," meaning a lander for Europa. Perhaps most exciting, $22 million was allocated to the development of the Mars 2020 rover. 

NASA had also pushed for more funding for their commercial ventures, such as Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Dragon V2. They received $1.243 billion to keep both of these efforts on track for 2017. Congress also increased the President's request from $1.36 billion to $2 billion for the Space Launch System (SLS), which is projected to be the most powerful rocket of all time when it's completed, with 20% more thrust than Saturn V.

Via The Planetary Society.
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