Trump Proposes Cutting NASA Budget by Nearly $500 Million

Editor’s Note: The budget proposal cuts funding from $21.5 billion to $21 billion. In his presentation, Bridenstine used the word “strong” multiple times to describe programs and directorates the Trump Administration wants to cut. I expect Congress will balk at many of the cuts.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine:

“President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 NASA budget is one of the strongest on record for our storied agency. At $21 billion, this budget represents a nearly 6 percent increase over last year’s request and comes at a time of constrained resources across the federal government. It also is a huge vote of confidence for all of the agency’s hard work and dedication.

“We will go to the Moon in the next decade with innovative, new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the lunar surface than ever before. This time, when we go to the Moon, we will stay. We will use what we learn as we move forward to the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

“This budget will build on our successes in low-Earth orbit to create a sustainable exploration campaign that combines NASA’s expertise with that of our commercial and international partners’. We will continue ushering in a new era of human spaceflight as we launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time since 2011. The Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, and Gateway will continue to be our backbone for deep space exploration.

“Beginning with a series of small commercial delivery missions to the Moon as early as this year, we will use new landers, robots and eventually humans by 2028 to conduct science across the entire lunar surface.

“With this budget, NASA’s critical work studying our home planet and the Sun will benefit humankind for generations. We will reveal the unknown with missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa and the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. We will continue planning and developing the first round-trip mission to the Red Planet with Mars Sample Return.

“This budget also continues support for transformative aeronautics technology research. We will make air travel safer, greener and more efficient, and continue pioneering the next generation of supersonic flight.

“As we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 this July, we are moving forward to the Moon and on to Mars, and we want the world to come with us.

“NASA is everywhere, and we are impacting people’s lives across the globe. As we celebrate the past, let’s inspire our friends and family for the future that we are building.”

To learn more about NASA’s fiscal year 2020 budget, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/budget

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, and $458 billion of those cuts are from the SLS/Orion programs.

    BTW as stated above.

    “President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 NASA budget is one of the strongest on record for our storied agency. At $21 billion, this budget represents a nearly 6 percent increase over last year’s request and comes at a time of constrained resources across the federal government. It also is a huge vote of confidence for all of the agency’s hard work and dedication.”

    https://spacepolicyonline.com/free-fact-sheets-and-reports/nasas-fy2019-budget-request/

    If Congress adds those Earth Science missions killed back in like last year (very likely), and restores the SLS/Orion pork, it will be significantly larger than NASA’s existing budget. The budget also seeks to save $700 million on the Europa Clipper by moving it’s launch from the SLS to another “unnamed” heavy lift launch vehicle (guess who…). Expect Congress Critters (Sen. Shelby and Rep. Brooks) that support SLS to have a fit over that…

  • Jeff Smith

    Let the annual ignoring of the president’s budget, BEGIN!

  • duheagle

    Given the obvious moves by the Trump administration to vastly speed up the somnolent pace at which NASA’s SLS-Orion faction had planned to proceed Moonward, it is no surprise that, after two entire years of slowing, rather than speeding up, the SLS-Orion budget now comes in for some notional cuts premised on matching expenditure more closely to progress – more properly the lack of same. The Huntsville Mob will, almost certainly, get their way again, but at least they are finally getting some pushback. If all things SLS-Orion continue to decelerate and slide, I suspect we might see some actual fiscal combat anent the SLS-Orion line items in the 2021 budget. This 2020 proposal is, I think, pretty much a warning shot. Next year, should things continue in the current fashion, the administration will most likely be firing for effect.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I agree. The wild card is the Starship/Super Heavy. The more visible it becomes, the more successful it’s flight tests, the more difficult it will be to defend the 1960’s relict known as SLS/Orion.

  • Flatley

    It won’t die this year or the next but the writing is on the wall. I think we’ll defintely get an EM-1 launch and definitely not get any upgraded block launches.

    The question is what about EM-2? I dearly hope not because that’ll be extremely dangerous for those astronauts, all for no real purpose.

  • duheagle

    Well, that budget proposal was no warning shot, just the first round in a fusillade. SLS is definitely in the crosshairs now.