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Congress Set To Give NASA $19 Billion Budget In 2016

NASA's Commercial Crew program will send astronauts to the International Space Station via commercial partners SpaceX and Boeing. Photo: NASA
NASA's Commercial Crew program will send astronauts to the International Space Station via commercial partners SpaceX and Boeing. Photo: NASA

Congress unveiled the 2016 budget Wednesday, and NASA is a big winner.

The space agency is set to receive $19.3 billion in funding next year. It’s about $1 billion more than NASA requested.

The agency received about $5 billion for science research, which includes funding for the James Webb Space Telescope.

NASA also received more than $1 billion to fund commercial crew efforts – the move to let private companies launch astronauts to the International Space Station.

It’s the first time Congress appropriated NASA’s full request, said Space Florida’s Dale Ketcham.

"This will enable us to that much sooner tell Vladimir Putin we’re done with his services in terms of getting our astronauts to the international space station,” said Ketcham.

Currently, NASA relies on Russian spacecraft to transport the crew. Private companies SpaceX and Boeing are developing capsules that will transport astronauts to the orbiting station.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to Central Florida in 2005 to attend the University of Central Florida. He began working at WMFE as a college intern where he discovered his love for public radio.