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White House Wants Congress to Provide More Money for Artemis, Dump SLS as Europa Mission Launcher

8 Nov 2019, 20:12 UTC
White House Wants Congress to Provide More Money for Artemis, Dump SLS as Europa Mission Launcher
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The core stage test team recently completed structural testing confirming the stage’s liquid hydrogen tank structural design is good for conditions that will be experienced in the rocket’s initial configuration, called Block 1, during the Artemis I launch. (Credits: NASA/Tyler Martin)

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

The White House wants Congress to provide more money for the Artemis moon landing program, and to save about $1.5 billion by dropping the requirement that NASA launch the Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter’s icy moon on the Space Launch System (SLS).

The requests came in an Oct. 23 letter regarding the FY 2020 budget to Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) from Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“The Administration appreciates the Committee’s continued support for space exploration, reflected in the $22.8 billion provided in the bill for NASA, which includes an increase of $680 million for lunar-focused exploration programs,” Vought wrote.

“However, the $1.6 billion provided for exploration research and development (R&D) is insufficient to fully fund the lander system that astronauts would use to return to the Moon in 2024. Funding exploration R&D at the $2.3 billion level requested in the FY 2020 Budget is ...

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