It has been decided: NASA gets an impressive $19.3 billion budget for the 2016 spending bill. The money will be used for the completion of several of the projects that NASA is currently developing, including the manned mission on Mars.
Scientific projects will be in the center of attention next year, especially now that the Final 2016 Spending Bill for NASA research has been revealed. According to the document, the space administration would receive the biggest sum it has ever seen, that is, a staggering sum of $19.3 billion.
Yet, the money has to be carefully spent, according to the plans. The Obama administration made an initial request of $18.5 billion, but Republicans in Congress agreed to offer an even bigger sum. The $19.3 billion that were initially granted offer NASA researchers an additional $1.27 billion to invest in their projects.
This means the U.S. space administration will dispose of a bigger budget for the planning of its manned missions on Mars. As a matter of fact, great part of the budget will be allocated for Mars’ research along with other initiatives that the institution has suggested.
Thanks to the new funding NASA could actually send commercial flights on ISS by 2017, the deadline that was initially set. Charles Bolden, the administrator of NASA, was previously forced to postpone the deadline to 2018 as a result of the lack of proper funding. Now that the administration has received an even bigger funding, commercial flights on ISS are getting close to reality.
$2 billion was assigned to the development of the Space Launch System, making U.S. astronauts more independent of Russia. So far, U.S. astronauts could travel to space only by means of Russian shuttles, but the new budget will enable scientists to take this project to the next step.
The Orion Capsule which is supposed to carry astronauts along to the SLS has received additional funding, as well. According to the Bill, $1,27 billion will go straight to this project, that is, $70 million more compared to last year’s bill.
The scientific division has not been left aside, either. The bill grants them $5.6 billion which will be used for the creation of an orbiter on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. This is the only planet that can have extraterrestrial life and NASA researchers are determined to find it.
The Bill will be voted officially before Congress on December 18th.
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