President Trump signed a bill of $19.5 billion as NASA funding and this was the first such authorization bill in seven years for the space agency.
The bill aligns with the last week budget blueprint laid out by Trump. NASA will not face the cuts as other science and medical agencies that lose huge portions of their budget under the president’s proposal. This was a long standing goal of NASA’s to send humans to Mars by the 2030s and Congress will fund the construction of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule supporting the mission.
Scott Pace, the Space Policy Institute director at George Washington University said, this bill relates to a vote for stability and he also noted that the bill in 2010 was chaotic involving ending the constellation program and would have sent the astronauts to the moon.
This year’s bill kept the NASA’s Earth science budget untouched. Earth science would see a 5 percent cut as per the blueprint of the president and Trump made clear that the NASA should be focused on deep space, not Earth.
Later he said “It’s been a long time such a bill like is signed and we reaffirm our national commitment to the core mission of NASA, human space exploration, space science and technology,” and “We support jobs. It’s about jobs,” he included. The bill mandates that NASA will pay for all the health related problems to spaceflight all former astronauts. Now, NASA’s retired astronauts will get lifetime health care for all the issues that are space flight-related. This is good news for astronauts, and for other scientists studying of space travel.