By Douglas Messier
Ignoring the Trump’s Administration’s fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018) budget request, the House Appropriations Committee has voted to boost NASA’ spending to $19.88 billion, including significant increases to the space agency’s Exploration and Planetary Science programs.
The appropriations bill is an increase of $779.8 million over Trump’s requested budget of $19.09 billion. It would increase NASA’s budget by $218.5 million over the $19.65 billion the space agency is receiving in FY 2017.
NASA’s Exploration program, which includes the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft, would be boosted by $226 million to $4.55 billion under the House measure. The administration had requested $3.93 billion, a cut of $390 million under current spending.
The bill keeps SLS and Orion at FY 2017 levels while boosting spending for Exploration Ground Systems, which are needed to support launches, and Exploration Research and Development (R&D).
Both the House measure and the administration’s budget request would cut funding for NASA’s Space Operations budget, which includes the International Space Station, Commercial Crew and Commercial Cargo programs. The program’s $4.95 billion budget would be reduced to $4.74 billion under the administration’s budget and to $4.67 billion under the appropriations bill.
The report ...