NASA Funding a Mixed Bag for Johnson Space Center


Johnson Space Center is watching funding decisions on projects that have close local ties under President Trump's proposed budget for 2019.

The White House will seek about $20 billion for NASA, but most of that is tied to returning to the moon.

The know-how on new lunar exploration is already being expanded through scientific activities aboard the International Space Station.

But new money for lunar travel may come at the expense of space station funding. Supporters underscore the value of the huge laboratory in space.

“We’ve used the International Space Station as the cornerstone for pushing human presence farther into space, with a horizon goal of humans to Mars,” says acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot in a statement. “This includes learning about the human physiology of spaceflight and enabling new industry partners to bring to bear their capabilities and emerge as leaders in their own right to help us on this journey.”

Lightfoot adds: “The commercial cargo and crew work continues through the life of the International Space Station in the budget. Further, this budget proposes for NASA to ramp up efforts to transition low-Earth activities to the commercial sector, and end direct federal government support of the ISS in 2025 and begin relying on commercial partners for our low-Earth orbit research and technology demonstration requirements.”

In short: the White House seeks to privatize its share of the space station program and stop federal funding after current obligations end in 2025.

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