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NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Monday that the Biden administration’s request for NASA’s budget in 2023 is $26 billion, the largest science request in the space agency’s history.
Nelson said the figure is 8% more than applicable federal spending levels, or the appropriations bill from fiscal year 2022.
“Better than a number, a statistic, or a fact of what the president’s budget request represents,” Nelson said in a statement.
“This budget reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s confidence in the extraordinary workforce that makes NASA the best place to work in the federal government,” Nelson said. “It is an investment in the companies and universities that partner with NASA in all 50 states and the well-paying jobs they create. It is a signal to support our missions in a new era of exploration and discovery.”
The request was submitted to Congress on Monday as part of President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023. NASA officials believe Biden’s request will allow NASA to continue investing in the Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and first people of color on the moon in 2025, as well as provide more research on the climate crisis and promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
The bulk of the $26 billion budget request will be allocated to the Artemis program.
The budget allocated $7.6 billion for deep space exploration and $4.7 billion for the development of exploration systems.
Artemis is the program that will not only return humans to the Moon and create a sustainable and long-term presence on the Moon, but will also prepare NASA for the first human exploration of Mars.
“Our goal is to apply what we learned from living and working on the Moon and then continue on to the Solar System,” Nelson said. “Our plan is for humans to walk on Mars by 2040.”
$4.7 billion will be used to support lunar missions, such as funding the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket that will land astronauts on the Moon. $1.5 billion will be allocated to fund a new competition to develop sustainable lunar landers, which has been Announced last week by NASA.
“Do you remember what happened after the Apollo program? You had several generations of engineers, scientists, and technicians who all came out as a result of extraordinary work on Apollo.” But now, the Apollo generation has passed the torch on to the Artemis generation. And this new generation is poised to push the boundaries of what we know. It is possible.”
The budget request also includes $2.4 billion that could fund climate and weather monitoring, the use of satellites to observe our planet and other research to create a better understanding of the climate crisis.
Nelson said the president’s budget would enable NASA to launch the Earth Information Center. The center will monitor greenhouse gases and other conditions on Earth in coordination with other agencies and partners, integrating data from satellites and telescopes to measure the water, land, ice and atmosphere of our planet.
Given NASA’s ongoing commercial partnerships, the agency has requested $1.4 billion for research and development of space technology that can reduce costs, enhance mission capabilities and create more jobs for the US commercial space industry.
“Our partnership with industry has already allowed for more scientific research, and in December, NASA signed agreements with three US companies to develop designs for space stations and other commercial destinations, first in low-Earth orbit and then who knows what, from[low-Earth orbit].”
This budget provides funding for these efforts. It enables a commercial economy in low Earth orbit, where the United States will maintain a continuous presence after Planned retirement for the International Space Station.
Noting that NASA’s first “A” stands for aeronautics, Nelson said $970 million of the budget will go to flight research that can improve aviation for everyone. This includes reducing the aviation industry’s impact on the global climate and helping develop next-generation aircraft that will be safer, smoother, cleaner and quieter.
Finally, there is $150 million to support NASA’s Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Sharing, providing further support for educational efforts and activities, particularly in underserved areas.
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