ARCADIA, Calif. — House appropriators criticized NASA for seeking to cancel “legacy” science and education programs in favor of new exploration efforts, moving money back to those missions while remaining silent on the administration’s accelerated lunar return.
In the report accompanying its fiscal year 2020 commerce, justice and science (CJS) spending bill, released May 21, appropriators said they restored funding to several Earth science and astrophysics missions, and NASA’s education program, to counter their proposed cancellation by the administration. That bill will be marked up by the full House Appropriations Committee May 22.
“NASA’s initial fiscal year 2020 budget request, which is $481,000,000 less than the fiscal year 2019 appropriated level, clearly reflects the Administration’s unfortunate shift from legacy programs and programs with clear environmental and educational interests,” the report stated.
That shift “is most evident,” the report argued, in the large increase sought for development of the lunar Gateway as well as lunar landers and related systems. Those programs are part of the exploration research and development line in the budget, for which NASA sought $1.58 billion in its budget request. The House bill instead provides $962 million, about the same as 2019.
The House bill restores funding for ...