UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — US Presidential Administration Donald Trump requested $ 25.2 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in fiscal year 2021, reports The Washington Post . As I noted NASA Jim Bridenstine head, if Congress approves the proposed White House plan, the agency will receive a record budget in its history.
According to documents released on the NASA website, almost half, $ 12.3 billion, is going to be spent on new and ongoing projects, the purpose of which is the return of astronauts to the moon and flights to Mars.
In particular, 3.3 billion of the announced amount could go to the development of the lunar lander, four billion to go to deep space exploration, 1.4 billion to the Lockheed Martin Orion capsule (it will deliver astronauts to the moon and return back to Earth), 385 million for terrestrial systems needed for the lunar program.
They will give 1.4 billion dollars for financing the International Space Station, 6.3 billion for scientific research in space, including 2.66 billion for planetology, 831 million for astrophysics, 1.77 billion for Earth science.
Another 414.7 million will be allocated for the final stage of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (the total cost of the device is 9.7 billion). At the same time, an increase in the agency’s total budget is expected every year: $ 27.2 billion in fiscal year 2022, $ 28.6 billion in 2023, 28.1 billion in 2024, and 26.3 in 2025.
As for the specific financing of the Artemis lunar program (Artemis), in general, about $ 35 billion will be invested in it (up to 2024).
“The draft budget expects an increase of 12% (financing of the space department compared with the financial year 2020 – ed.). Support from the president intensified just at the moment when we lay the foundations for the first landing of a woman and the next landing of a man on the south pole of the moon by 2024.”
“This budget will allow us to clearly follow our plan. <…> For the first time since the implementation of the Apollo program, we have direct funding for the creation of the landing module,” said Breidenstein.
“America leads the world into a new era of space exploration, when a man and first woman will fly to the moon in 2024. This will ensure a stable presence on the surface of the moon. <…> The United States and our international and commercial partners will gain experience, develop the technologies and systems that will be needed to eventually send people to Mars. These efforts will help America remain the world leader in space exploration,” the documents published by the White House specified. It is not clear whether the U.S. Congress will approve such record spending. For fiscal 2020, congressmen approved funding of $ 22.6 billion.
In December 2017, Trump signed a directive on the revival of the US lunar program: then the American leader promised that the astronauts would not only “set their flag and leave their traces” on the Earth’s satellite, but also lay the foundation for a “possible mission to Mars” and flights “to other worlds.” Last year, Vice President Mike Pence, chairman of the National Space Council, set a 2024 deadline for Americans to return to the moon, although NASA had previously planned to land on a satellite in 2028.
The first stage of the SLS super heavy rocket, which will be used to launch the Orion spacecraft, is now located at the John Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, where it is preparing to test its four main engines. If the tests are successful, SLS and Orion will fly around the moon this year (although there is information that the launch can be postponed to the 2021st).
During the first launch as part of the Artemis-1 mission, the presence of the crew is not expected. People will fall into the lunar orbit as part of the Artemis-2 mission, which will take place in 2022-2023. A man’s direct landing on the surface of the earth’s satellite is planned for 2024 (mission “Artemis-3”).
In the long run, NASA wants to go on a manned flight to the Red Planet, and it is Artemis, according to agency representatives, that will help “develop technologies and strategies that can be improved on the Moon before setting off for Mars.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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