Trump budget gives more to NASA, would end Space Station funding in 2025

Trump budget gives more to NASA, would end Space Station funding in 2025 

Posted: 12:45 pm Monday, February 12th, 2018

By Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump’s budget plan for NASA would give the space agency at 2.6 percent budget boost in 2019, as the White House spending plan calls for an end to federal funding for the International Space Station by 2025, an idea that was quickly shot down on Capitol Hill.

“The administration’s budget for NASA is a nonstarter,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) soon after the budget documents were released.

“Turning off the lights and walking away from our sole outpost in space at a time when we’re pushing the frontiers of exploration makes no sense,” Nelson added.

On the plan to end federal funding for the Space Station, the new Trump budget says “NASA would rely on commercial partners for its low Earth orbit research and technology demonstration requirements.”

The President’s budget tries to move NASA money around to focus more on the goal of space exploration, saying that of the over $19 billion in this plan, $10.5 billion would go to an “innovative and sustainable campaign of exploration,” with the goal of going back to the Moon, and then on to Mars.

One way to do that is by eliminating offices within NASA that aren’t focused on space travel, like NASA’s Office of Education – which gives grants to colleges and universities, and helps museums and science centers.

“The Budget proposes the termination of the Office of Education, redirecting those funds to NASA’s core mission of exploration,” the budget states, as well as five different “Earth Science” missions.

As for space exploration, the budget envisions the first unmanned flight of the SLS/Orion would be in 2020 – with a goal for a Moon mission in 2023. The U.S. has not been to the Moon with a manned mission since Apollo 17 in 1972.

One big item in the future of NASA would be eliminated – the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), as the Trump budget states that “given higher priorities within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the increasing cost of this telescope,” it should be knocked out of the budget.

“Given competing priorities at NASA, and budget constraints, developing another large space telescope immediately after completing the $8.8
billion James Webb Space Telescope is not a priority for the Administration,” the White House says.

You can read much more on the NASA budget here.

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