House appropriators approve NASA spending bill with revised lunar lander and nuclear propulsion language
The House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill July 15 that leaves intact overall funding for NASA but tweaks language regarding the Human Landing System and nuclear thermal propulsion.
A House appropriations subcommittee advanced a spending bill July 12 that would provide NASA with a small increase over what the administration proposed for fiscal year 2022, but does not address some key areas of concern.
Despite facing the threat of cancellation for the second straight year, a NASA airborne observatory is continuing with regular operations.
NASA released its fiscal year 2022 budget request May 28, asking for $24.8 billion to support a number of new and existing science and exploration programs but also proposing once again to cancel an airborne astronomical observatory.
The White House released a first look at its budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 that includes an increase in funding for NASA, particularly Earth science and space technology programs.
Congress will provide NASA with nearly $23.3 billion in the final fiscal year 2021 omnibus spending bill, restoring several science programs but falling far short of the funding sought for a lunar lander program.
Vice President Mike Pence said in a Feb. 19 speech that the administration’s budget proposal for NASA to support a human return to the moon by 2024 has bipartisan support, a claim echoed by NASA despite criticism about some proposed cuts in the bill.
NASA’s fiscal year 2021 budget request proposes cancelling an airborne observatory, a move that has surprised many astronomers but is also not the first time the project has faced termination.
NASA’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal has gotten a mixed reception on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, with many supporting increased funding for exploration efforts but criticizing another attempt to cut science and education programs.
The White House is proposing to increase NASA’s budget by more than two and a half billion dollars in fiscal year 2021, providing substantially increased funding for the Artemis program while seeking once again to cancel several science and education programs.
NASA, or at least the White House, is showing growing impatience with the delays and cost growth in some of its biggest missions. That theme is clear in the proposals to rein in the Space Launch System, but also in its approach to science program.
An appropriation bill signed into law Feb. 15 gives NASA $21.5 billion for fiscal year 2019, $1.6 billion above the administration’s original request.