NASA is expected to receive $18.5 billion in the FY2016 Federal budget, a half-billion dollar increase.
This budget allows for continuing development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, SpaceLaunch System (SLS), and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS), planned for deep space missions. It also funds the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope with a planned 2018 launch, and maintains several ongoing projects.
A $5.3 million request includes funding of the Webb Space Telescope as well as the next Mars rover mission and a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. This segment includes OSIRIS-REx, which aims to be the first US mission to send samples from an asteroid back to Earth.
Other continuing programs include STEM education, for which $88.9 million is requested, and partnerships with several commercial enterprises including Boeing and SpaceX. The Exploration budget request, in which commercial cargo missions are included, is $4.5 million.
Maintenance and new science on the International Space Station fall under the Space Operations category, for which the budget request is $4 million.
A $7.2 million portion of the budget goes toward Space Technology, including new solar array and thruster designs and the development of a high-powered solar electric propulsion capability. The latter will power the robotic portion of the planned Asteroid Redirect Mission, which will pull a near-Earth asteroid into orbit around the Moon for study.
In his State of NASA presentation on Feb. 2, Administrator Charles Bolden remarked that NASA technology also helps commercial air travel and climate science on Earth. $5 million was requested for aviation.
Bolden also noted the industries that support and are supported by NASA projects, such as Lockheed Martin and industrial textile manufacturer Bally Ribbon Mills in Pennsylvania.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)