NASA Gets $21 Billion Budget to Go Explore the Moon and Mars

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, STS-41B spacewalk,  February 13, 1984 1 photo
Photo: NASA
The efforts made in recent years by NASA itself and a handful of private companies have reignited the Americans’ imagination and their desire to be the first to achieve important milestones in space exploration.
This week, NASA announced its fiscal year 2020 budget is $21 billion, a tad more (6 percent) than its requests last year. Enough money, the agency says, to continue with the programs meant to send humans back to the Moon and for the first time to Mars.

“This budget will build on our successes in low-Earth orbit to create a sustainable exploration campaign that combines NASA’s expertise with that of our commercial and international partners,” said in a statement NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“We will continue ushering in a new era of human spaceflight as we launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time since 2011.”

The budget seems to be solid enough for the agency to go forward with most of its plans for the future. It’s enough to continue the development of new landers and robots for lunar missions, of the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, and Lunar Gateway.

NASA plans to have humans on the Moon by the end of the next decade, and this time it will go there “to stay.” In the near future, a space station called Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will be orbiting the Earth’s satellite and act as a staging area for missions to the lunar surface and later to Mars.

The study of the Sun, missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa and the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope are also funded by this budget. NASA’s projects researching air mobility and the commercial supersonic flight program will continue as well.

There are some things the money will not be enough for, like the building of a more powerful version of the Space Launch System rocket.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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