Space research, like much else in capitalist societies, is driven by funding. The biggest source of that funding for that space research is usually the US government. Which is why, when US presidents release their budget proposals, the space community takes notice. Especially because that budget affects NASA, the largest space funding agency in the world. With a new year and new administration comes a new budget and with the 2021 proposed budget comes a nice funding increase for NASA.
The proposed budget was released on April 9th, and, at 58 pages, goes into high level details about almost every part of federal spending. The section regarding NASA is only about a page long, but has some useful hints at how the new administration views the role of its space exploration arm. In order to fulfill that role, the administration plans to spend $24.7 billion on the agency, an increase of 6.3% over the funded level last year.
Banner from a NASA Facebook account showing its interest in climate change science.Credit: NASA
Some of that money will go to one of the administrations biggest focal points – climate change. The administration had already released an infrastructure plan that focused on ...