NASA could see the largest budget in decade provided the U.S. Congress passes the spending bill as is now on the table. As a result, NASA could have the the 2016 budget exceed the budgets for at least half a decade before.
Provided the U.S. Congress passes the spending bill as is now, NASA’s budget could reach 19.3 billion dollars. in 2017, the U.S. space agency had a budget of 1.3 billion dollars. The new proposal exceeds even White House requests by 700 million dollars. If the spending bill is passed as such, NASA will greatly benefit. Space science and even private space companies too. It’s really a win win situation.
With a substantial increase in budget, NASA will not slack behind. Considering that 2016 has booked a full agenda for the U.S. space agency. InSight is ready to roll, Juno should reach Jupiter, while OSIRIS-Rex’s upcoming launch is highly anticipated.
InSight is NASA’s geological mission to join Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars and help with data collecting. Juno will orbit Jupiter in a first mission of its kind, to add more to the science on our own solar system. OSIRIS-Rex is aimed at reaching Bennu, landing on the asteroid’s surface and spending two years here in another breakthrough mission. At the end, it should send back a capsule with collected asteroid samples. Pretty neat, right?
NASA is still in the saddle and waiting for the spending bill to be approved. If it happens, NASA could the largest budget in decade.
The three planetary missions aren’t the only ones on NASA’s plate. New Horizons still reigns high, as well as other planetary missions. The 2016 budget as currently envisaged in the spending bill would bring back adequate funding levels for planetary science. For 20 years, no new planetary missions have flown. Now, it could all return to normality. New robotic missions are planned for after 2020 to Europa and Mars.
Then, in 2017, the much anticipated commercial crew program should be off to a start. Collaborating with SpaceX and Boeing, NASA will cut loose the dependence on Russian spacecraft to ferry astronauts to space and back. Crewed missions will once again take off from American soil.
At the same time, the Space Launch System will allow crewed missions to reach the moon once more. Robotic missions are planned to reach the gas giants of our solar system as well as the outer solar system.
As for the commercial crew program, its development reaches about 1.2 billion dollars, all penned down in the 2016 spending bill. As for the Space Launch System, 2 billion dollars funding should ensure it a smooth operational framework.
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