NASA Administrator Bill Nelson revealed Monday that the Biden administration’s budget request for NASA in 2023 is $26 billion, the biggest request for science in the space agency’s history.
According to Nelson, the sum is 8% more than the established federal expenditure levels, or the appropriation bill for fiscal year 2022.
“Greater than a number, statistic, or fact is 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’s an investment in the businesses and universities that partner with NASA in all 50 states and the good-paying jobs they are creating. It’s a signal of support for our missions in a new era of exploration and discovery.”
The proposal was included in President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, which was submitted to Congress on Monday. Biden’s request, according to NASA officials, will allow the agency to continue investing in the Artemis programme, which seeks to place the first woman and person of colour on the moon in 2025, as well as conduct more climate research and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The lion’s share is Artemis’ mission
The Artemis programme would receive the lion’s share of the $26 billion budget proposal.
The budget allocates $7.6 billion for deep space exploration and $4.7 billion for the development of exploration systems.
Artemis is seen as the programme that will not only restore humans to the moon and establish a long-term lunar presence, but also prepare NASA for the first human mission to Mars.
“Our goal is to apply what we’ve learned living and operating on the moon and continue then out into the solar system,” Nelson said. “Our plan is for humans to walk on Mars by 2040.”
The $4.7 billion will go toward lunar missions, including as funding for the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket that would land men on the moon. In addition, NASA will spend $1.5 billion to finance a new competition to design sustainable lunar landers, which was announced last week.
“Remember what happened after the Apollo program? You had several generations of engineers and scientists and technicians that all came out as a result of the extraordinary work in Apollo,” Nelson said. “But now, the Apollo generation has passed the torch to the Artemis generation. And this new generation is preparing to push the boundaries of what we know to be possible.”
Satellite tracking and space technology
The budget request also includes $2.4 billion for climate and weather monitoring, as well as research to better understand the climate challenge, such as employing satellites to examine our planet and other research.
According to Nelson, the President’s budget will give NASA the authority to establish an Earth Information Center. In collaboration with other agencies and partners, the centre will monitor greenhouse gases and other variables on Earth, combining data from satellites and telescopes to assess water, land, ice, and the atmosphere on our planet.
Given NASA’s growing commercial partnerships, the agency has sought $1.4 billion for space technology research and development that might help the US commercial space industry lower costs, improve mission capabilities, and generate more employment.
“Our partnership with industry has already allowed more scientific research, and in December, NASA signed agreements with three American companies to develop designs of space stations and other commercial destinations, first in low-Earth orbit and then who knows what, out of (low-Earth orbit).”
These endeavours will be supported by this budget. It allows for a commercial economy in low-Earth orbit, where the US will maintain an unbroken presence following the International Space Station’s planned retirement.
Nelson pointed out that the first “A” in NASA stands for aeronautics, and that $970 million of the budget would go toward aeronautics research that could improve everyone’s trip. This involves lowering the aviation industry’s global climate impact and assisting in the development of next-generation aircraft that are safer, smoother, cleaner, and quieter.
Finally, $150 million will be allocated to NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, which will increase funding for educational endeavours and activities, particularly in underprivileged communities.