May 25, 2017 05:38 PM EDT
The Trump administration's fiscal 2018 budget request would eliminate not just one but five Earth science missions and eliminate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) education office. It would also go with the Obama administration's plans of robotically retrieving a piece of an asteroid as a precursor to flights to Mars.
In an article published by CBS, the Trump administration's include a $19.1 billion budget request for NASA. This is a huge decrease of $561 million to the space agency.
The requested budget reflect the administration's blueprint released in March. Still, America's space programs are still healthy but suffered relatively modest cuts compared to other federal agencies, NASA's acting administrator said.
"What this budget tells us to do is keep going, keep doing what we've been doing, very important for us to maintain that course and move forward as an agency with all the great things we're doing," Robert Lightfoot told employees of NASA in a televised address. He added that the agency has $19.1 billion and it would reflect the president and administration's confidence in them moving forward.
"I think you guys can take a lot of confidence in that when you see what's happening and the overall pressure on the budget in the entire country," he added about NASA. We did really well, he said.
The budget of NASA continues to have a robust support for the $8.6 billion James Webb Space Telescope. This is the most-awaited successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that is scheduled to be launched next year.
It would also support NASA's two robotic landers. These are the planned mission in studying Jupiter's enigmatic moon Europa from orbit and two probes designed to study asteroids.
In an article published in Space, there are relatively minors cuts that were imposed on the NASA's heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion deep space crew capsule. This is the centerpieces of plans to move beyond low-Earth orbit, first with a flight to the vicinity of the moon in the 2020s, following the eventual flights to Mars in the 2030's.
NASA's space science missions, which includes missions in studying Earth, other planets in the solar system, astrophysics, solar physics, and space weather, would receive $5.7 billion. This is about $53 million less than the enacted the fiscal year 2017 budget.
The Trump administration's budget also eliminates the funding for five Earth science missions and instruments, as they cast their skepticism about global warming and its impact. Earth science missions of NASA would get $1.8 billion, having a $170 million reduction.
The funding for NASA's education office also saw a huge cut from Trump administration's proposed budget. It would have a $37 million budget from last year's $100 million, which is an enough reason to close down operations across the agency.
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