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Obama Administration Proposes $18.5 Budget for NASA - Techno

The Obama Administration today (Feb. 2) proposed a NASA budget allocation of $18.5 Billion for the new Fiscal Year 2016, which amounts to a half-billion dollar increase over the enacted budget for FY 2015, and keeps the key manned capsule and heavy lift rocket programs on track to launch humans to deep space in the next decade and significantly supplements the commercial crew initiative to send our astronauts to low Earth orbit and the space station later this decade.

In the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden delivers a “state of the agency” address at NASA’s televised fiscal year 2016 budget rollout event with Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana looking on, at right. NASA’s Orion, SpaceX Dragon and Boeing CST-100 spacecraft were on display. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods

In the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden delivers a “state of the agency” address at NASA’s televised fiscal year 2016 budget rollout event with Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana looking on, at right. NASA’s Orion, SpaceX Dragon and Boeing CST-100 spacecraft were on display. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formally announced the rollout of NASA’s FY 2016 budget request today during a “state of the agency” address at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), back dropped by the three vehicles at the core of the agency’s human spaceflight exploration strategy; Orion, the Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon.

“To further advance these plans and keep on moving forward on our journey to Mars, President Obama today is proposing an FY 2016 budget of $18.5 billion for NASA, building on the significant investments the administration has made in America’s space program over the past six years,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said to NASA workers and the media gathered at the KSC facility where Orion is being manufactured.

“These vehicles are not just on paper anymore! This is tangible evidence of what you [NASA] have been doing these past few years.”

Bolden said the $18.5 Billion budget request will enable the continuation of core elements of NASA’s main programs including first launch of the new commercial crew vehicles to orbit in 2017, the Orion capsule and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to further NASA’s initiative to send ‘Humans to Mars’ in the 2030s, extending the International Space Station (ISS) into the next decade, and launching the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

“NASA is firmly on a journey to Mars. Make no mistake, this journey will help guide and define our generation.”

Funding is also provided to enable the manned Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) by around 2025, to continue development of the next Mars rover, and to continue formulation studies of a robotic mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

“That’s a half billion-dollar increase over last year’s enacted budget, and it is a clear vote of confidence in you – the employees of NASA – and the ambitious exploration program you are executing,” said Bolden.

Overall the additional $500 million for FY 2016 translates to a 2.7% increase over FY 2015. That compares to about a 7% proposed boost for the overall US Federal Budget.

The Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon V will restore the US capability to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

In September 2014, Bolden announced the selections of Boeing and SpaceX to continue development and certification of their proposed spaceships under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and Launch America initiative started back in 2010.

Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, all NASA astronauts have been totally dependent on Russia and their Soyuz capsule as the sole source provider for seats to the ISS.

“The commercial crew vehicles are absolutely critical to our journey to Mars, absolutely critical. SpaceX and Boeing have set up operations here on the Space Coast, bringing jobs, energy and excitement about the future with them. They will increase crew safety and drive down costs.”

Source: Universe Today, written by Ken Kremer

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