Astronauts on a future lunar walk. (Credit: NASA)
by Douglas MessierManaging Editor
Determined to land astronauts on the moon in time for the 2024 presidential election, the Trump Administration has proposed boosting NASA’s budget by 12 percent, an increase that includes $3.37 billion program for a human lander.
The $25.2 billion plan for fiscal year 2021 is $2.69 billion above the current spending level. More than half the amount, $12.95 billion, would be spent on human space operations in Earth orbit and preparing for missions to the moon.
How the proposal will fair in Congress is unclear. To boost Artemis spending, the Administration has proposed a number of cuts that Congress has rejected in previous Trump budgets. Those reductions include:
zeroing out the STEM education program;deferring work on key elements of the launch system that will get astronauts to the moon;reducing the overall science budget;canceling three scientific satellite missions; shutting down an unique flying astronomical observatory; and,saving money by launching a probe to Jupiter on a commercial rocket.
With it duly stipulated that this plan might not survive Congress, let’s dive into what the administration has proposed.
1 – FY 2019 reflects total discretionary funding amounts specified in Public ...