WASHINGTON — Scientists and the chair of a key House committee expressed concern at a June 11 hearing that NASA could raid science programs to pay for its accelerated return to the moon.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), chair of the House Science Committee, raised the issue in an opening statement during a hearing by the committee’s space subcommittee on NASA’s science programs. She cited language in the administration’s budget amendment, sent to Congress a month ago, that proposed giving NASA the authority to transfer funding from other accounts, such as science, if needed for what the agency now calls the Artemis program.
“It perplexes me as to why the administration would even consider raiding science to pay for a moon program,” she said after giving several examples of discoveries by NASA missions. “Yet, that may be where NASA is headed.”
She said that proposed authority may be a sign that the White House won’t request sufficient new funding to pay for Artemis without taking money from elsewhere in the agency. “Starving science to fund human exploration is not the answer,” she said.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said on multiple occasions that he would not “cannibalize” science program to ...