In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Emerging U.S. Senate 2019 appropriations measure backs continued development of NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). Growing Martian dust storm stalls NASA’s long running Opportunity rover. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine suggests that former NASA astronaut Janet Kavandi be nominated as the agency’s second in charge.
Policy and Budget
Senate bill restores funding for NASA science and technology demonstration missions
Space News (6/12): The U.S. Senate Appropriations’ Commerce, Justice and Science subcommittee on Tuesday voted to back continue development of NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Satellite (WFIRST) mission that the White House wishes to cancel in its proposed 2019 budget. Considered an astrophysics high priority by the National Academy of Sciences, WFIRST’s mission is to explore dark energy and observe the atmospheres of extra solar planets for signs of bio markers. The Senate version of the 2019 spending measure also funds four Earth science missions targeted for cancellation by the White House. In all, the panel backed $21.3 billion for NASA in 2019, $1.4 billion more than the White House request and $587 million above the 2018 total. The Senate bill, like the House one, offers flat funding for the Space Launch System (SLS), at ...