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NASA Gets $19 Billion In Latest Congressional Budget

Artist's concept of SLS/Orion on the launch pad. Photo: NASA
Artist's concept of SLS/Orion on the launch pad. Photo: NASA

A Congressional spending bill passed this week gives NASA more than it asked for.

NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2017 is now $19.7 billion thanks to an omnibus spending bill. That’s about $600 million more than NASA requested for the bill and $300 million more than NASA received last year.

Big winners in the budget are NASA’s exploration systems, receiving $4.3 billion. NASA is developing Orion, its next deep-space capsule, to travel to places like the area around the moon, and eventually Mars. Orion is set to launch on an uncrewed mission from Kennedy Space Center in 2019.

That $4 billion also goes to the development of the Space Launch System, NASA’s rocket that will lift Orion into space, and its launch pad.

The budget request came from leadership in the Obama White House. President Trump has yet to name a new director of NASA for his administration.

About $5.8 billion is set aside for science programs like robotic missions to Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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