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President Trump Announces Minor Budget Cuts for NASA
NASA has escaped any major cuts in its budget in the fiscal policy announced by Trump administration. NASA officials and scientific community was concerned about budget cuts that NASA could face under Trump administration but the initial report suggests that NASA can continue with most of its projects. NASA would receive nearly $19.1 billion in top line spending, as per the fiscal policy. This amounts to 0.8 percent cut in NASA spending compared to nearly 31 percent spending cuts announced for the Environmental Protection Agency. NASA has pioneered in space and other technology segments and spending cuts on NASA would be a major setback for science and technology, as per prominent research organizations. President Donald Trump would escape any major backlash from scientific community as he has spared NASA from significant cuts in budget.
However, a few major missions of NASA have received a setback. NASA’s education program has been eliminated. Asteroid redirection mission has been cancelled. Jupiter’s Europa lander mission has also faced funding seizure in the current order.
However, the new ruling has escaped any comment on Moon vs Mars debate for next manned mission. The fiscal policy has also supported public-private partnerships. Many private space technology companies have made amazing advances in technology and they have been successful in reducing the cost of missions.
Orion, SLS and ground systems stand to receive $3.7 billion, which is in line with proposed 2017 congressional levels. PACE mission has been cancelled.
Earth science segment will receive $1.8 billion, nearly 13 percent decline from budget announced by Obama administration.
Among other cancelled missions are OCO-3 (not yet launched), DSCOVR Earth-viewing instruments and CLARREO Pathfinder (not yet launched).
NASA has enjoyed stable budget in range of $19-19.5 billion in the recent years. President Trump has kept it at almost the same level but has suggested some major changes in projects.