Obama Proposes More Funding for NASA, Stays Course on Bush Moon Plan

Obama budget: NASA Gets $18.7 Billion
Orlando Sentinel

President Barack Obama would give NASA nearly $19 billion in a 2010 budget plan unrolled this morning — a small increase over the $18 billion that the Bush administration had planned for the space agency next year, according to budget documents.

The boost adds to the $1 billion that NASA already has received under Obama’s stimulus plan. Combined, these two increases represent slightly better days for NASA officials and space enthusiasts, who have complained for years that NASA doesn’t receive the funding it needs.

The Obama plan — billed only as a broad outline — does not go into detail about how the $18.7 billion should be spent, although it broadly backs programs to study climate research and a “robust program of space exploration involving humans and robots.”

The budget blueprint also dismisses recent calls to extend the shuttle era beyond 2010, a retirement date for the aging spacecraft set by former President Bush. The outline reiterates the 2010 date and only allows for one more flight if it can be “completed safely before the end of 2010.”

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