After the Trump administration budgets suggested cutting NASA’s Earth science budget and canceling missions such as the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) spacecraft (above), the Biden administration’s budget sets an increase of the expenditure on earth sciences for. Credit: NASA / GSFC
Updated 12:50 p.m. Eastern with NASA statement.
WASHINGTON – The White House gave a first look at its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, which includes an increase in funding for NASA, particularly Earth science and space technology programs. The 58-page budget document, released April 9, outlines the discretionary spending priorities of Biden’s administration.
However, it only provides high-level detail, with a full budget proposal expected later in the spring. For NASA, the White House proposes a total budget of about $ 24.7 billion in fiscal year 2022, an increase of about 6.3% from the $ 23.271 billion received by the agency in its last fiscal year 2021 omnibus spending.
“This $ 24.7 billion funding request demonstrates the Biden Administration’s commitment to NASA and its partners who have worked so hard over the past year under difficult circumstances and achieved unprecedented success,” NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk said in a statement on it. budget.
The document does not provide a full breakdown of NASA spending across the different programs, but it does highlight increases in different areas. NASA’s earth science program, which received $ 2 billion in 2021, would get $ 2.3 billion by 2022, a 15% increase.
The funding, the document states, would be used to “kick-start the next generation of Earth observation satellites to study pressing climate science questions.”
NASA’s space technology program, which received $ 1.1 billion in 2021, would get $ 1.4 billion by 2022, a 27% increase. That funding “would increase the capabilities and reduce the costs of the full range of NASA missions and provide new technologies to help grow the commercial space industry,” the budget document states.
That includes support for what the White House called “new early-stage space technology research that would support clean energy development.” NASA’s human exploration program would get $ 6.9 billion by fiscal year 2022, about 5% more than $ 6.56 billion in 2021.
The document did not break out spending under programs such as the Space Launch System, Orion, and Human Landing System. (HLS), but said it would support the Artemis program and “develop opportunities for sustainable, long-term human exploration beyond Earth and eventually to Mars.
” The document did not provide guidance on a scheme for the Artemis program, merely noting that it included “a series of manned reconnaissance missions to the lunar surface and beyond.
” The modest increase suggests the government does not intend to ramp up spending on the HLS program, as was originally expected when the Trump administration set a target of returning humans to the lunar surface by 2024.
“It also gives us the necessary resources to continue advancing America’s bipartisan Moon to Mars space exploration plan, including landing the first woman and the first person of color on the moon under the Artemis program,” Jurczyk said in the statement, the first time NASA said Artemis would be the first person of color to fly to the moon.
The previous government noted that Artemis would send “the next man and the first woman” to the moon. The brief passage on NASA spending offered little else about funding levels and priorities the White House has for the agency.
The document did note that the budget provides funding for a number of ongoing missions in development, including the Mars Sample Return program and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, an astrophysical mission to be canceled in several previous budget requests from the Trump administration. . However, the document does not specify funding levels for those projects.
The administration also proposed a $ 20 million increase for NASA’s education programs, formally known as STEM Engagement.
That received $ 127 million in 2021, but was proposed for cancellation in all four of the Trump administration’s budget proposals. In any case, Congress rejected the proposal and funded NASA’s educational efforts.
Elsewhere in the budget, the White House proposed increasing funding for weather satellite programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by $ 500 million to $ 2 billion by fiscal year 2022. That funding would support what it described as’ the next generation of satellites.
, with a wide range of new technologies that would improve weather and climate forecasting data and provide critical information to the public. The proposal does not disclose funding for smaller space-related offices, such as the Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce or the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
support the management of the national airspace system, including the integration of commercial space launches into it. The National Science Foundation would receive $ 10.2 billion of the proposed budget, an increase of 20% from 2021.
That would include funding to support the work on the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, although the document does not state how much funding would be provided that or other astrophysical research.