In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Trump administration 2019 U.S. budget presentations on Monday are expected to address plans for human lunar activities as well as the future of the International Space Station. NASA is assessing whether test flights of its Commercial Crew Program partners, Boeing and SpaceX, might contribute to International Space Station operations. China tests Mars soft landing technologies.
Human Space Exploration
NASA budgets for a trip to the moon, but not while Trump is president
New York Times (2/11): The Trump administration plans to unveil a 2019 fiscal year budget proposal Monday, one that calls for NASA to return to the moon with human explorers. However, the journey is to occur at a pace that does not require a major cost increase, which means reaching the vicinity of the moon in 2023 and the lunar surface after the current president leaves office following a second term. NASA’s share of the 2019 budget would be $19.9 billion, or a $370 million increase from 2018. The agency’s spending would drop to $19.6 billion annually thereafter and through 2023. NASA’s Earth science and astrophysics division budgets would decline, ending several Earth science missions in the works. Money for robotic planetary science ...