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tiptrot.com April 21, 2018


Trump's 2019 NASA Budget Request Puts Moon Ahead of Space Station

15 February 2018, 05:14 | Gerardo Harmon

GETTYThis uncrewed cargo mission plans to deliver three tons of food fuel and other supplies

This uncrewed cargo mission plans to deliver three tons of food fuel and other supplies

The newly unveiled request gives some more details about NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon, a focus that President Donald Trump made official with the signing of "Space Policy Directive 1" in December.

The Soyuz 2-1a booster carrying the Progress MS-08/69P cargo craft took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EST (GMT-5; 2:13 p.m. local time), streaking away through a cold, overcast sky and climbing directly into the plane of the space station's orbit.

The FY 2019 budget provides a top-line number of $19.892 billion for NASA, an increase over the FY 2018 budget of $19.519 billion that is largely attributable to the recent budget agreement passed by Congress, which raises spending levels for defense and discretionary spending.

Private businesses already have a hand in the space station project.

The station's first component was launched in 1998, and construction continued until the end of the US space shuttle programme in 2011. With the USA cutting its support for the station, it would most likely rely on public-private partnerships, with bulk of the station's upkeep being shouldered by private companies.

The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry.

The proposal to privatize the space station doesn't come as a big shock.


He said the move would put the US on course to "do something exciting" in space for the first time in years, adding that his company is "ready" to partner with NASA on its moon efforts. The transition draft says NASA will continue to consult with its worldwide partners "to ensure consensus".

Asked after the speech if there was any chance the ISS would end in 2024, he said he didn't believe so unless there was a technical reason for ending the station at that point.

A view of the International Space Station's power-generating solar arrays taken by an astronaut in January 2017.

Right now, all researchers who send experiments to the space station get a free ride and free labor.

On the science side, the budget continues support for high-profile planetary missions, such as the life-hunting 2020 Mars rover and Europa Clipper, which will investigate the habitability of Jupiter's ocean-harboring moon Europa. Both nations are required for the space station to function with any degree of safety using separate flight control centers.

The administration also proposed to eliminate the entire Office of Education at NASA. They will boost the lab's crew back to six, joining Expedition 55 commander Anton Shkaplerov, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle and Japanese physician-astronaut Norishige Kanai.

President Barack Obama continued the transition to hire Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts to the station. "NASA is called to refocus existing activities towards exploration, by redirecting funding to innovative new programmes and support for new public-private initiatives", acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.



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