Nasa Budget Legislation Signed into Law

By:Sam Ryan

The Nasa budget plan was signed into legislation yesterday, March 22, by president trump. $19.5 billion will be allocated for NASA funding with a focus on manned Mars missions by 2033. The legislation details the budget for each category of nasa as well as the understandings and expectations of congress. The administration and congress has shown that a primary focus is “to extend humanity’s reach into deep space, including cis-lunar space, the Moon, the surface and moons of Mars, and beyond,” journey_to_mars.jpegThe legislation shows a continued desire for the “development of the Space Launch System, Orion, Commercial Crew Program, space and planetary science missions, Field Infrared Survey Telescope, and Europa mission, and ongoing operations of the ISS and Commercial Resupply Services Program. Meaning that a lot of the budget for the current space satellites, ISS missions/research, and telescopes will be continued. Something that I did not find in budget was climate change research and education expectations. Earth science has seen millions of dollars in budget cuts during the Obama administration and will be cut by 13% in 2018 under the trump administration. Elon Musk is pleased with the administrations desire to further manned space exploration but stated that he was not satisfied with earth science cuts as an advocate of climate change reform. The $100 million dollar cut will most likely end DSCOVR, OCO-3, PACE, and CLARREO Pathfinder. All of these missions are researching the impacts of carbon emissions on climate change. In my opinion I am not pleased with these terminations. Much like how history is studied to broaden knowledge for future decisions, I believe earth should be studied to have a greater understanding of planets, especially those that are habitable.  I am pleased that congress plans to keep money in a successful space program. I was also pleased to see a congressional expectation of orbital debris clean up technology and planning in the first 270 days of the bill. The legislation states that NASA will “support and expand public-private partnerships”, meaning companies like Space X, Boeing, Blue Origin, and others will play a necessary role in the contracting of nasa projects. I am a very big supporter of private space enterprises involvement with NASA as it is both financially beneficial and practical to the affordability and efficiency of uncharted missions NASA will be making. Overall the budget appears to show that congress and president trump are dedicated to the future of the space program.

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