Congress has shown its one-upmanship and will provide NASA with a $19.3 billion budget for the year 2016. That’s more than President Obama requested for the space agency in the first place.
NASA has always remained underfunded and wanting for more cash to execute its bold plans to go where no man has gone before. But this time around its future looks secure, at least for now.
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Congress has decided to be particularly good to NASA. Republican leaders pledged a huge budget for 2016. Within the context of this budget lies a big financial boost for NASA.
The cash flow for the agency amounts to a whopping $19.3 billion which is a handsome sum. This exceeds Obama’s plea for $18.5 billion by at least $1.27 billion greater than the 2015 budget.
Thus NASA will be running on all four cylinders from now onwards. It will be planning its primary missions with zest and gusto.
The bold and beautiful manner of seeking thrills and adventure in the milieu of outer space cannot be overemphasized. NASA will especially be driving its ISS tours via this much-needed extra money.
At least $1.24 billion will be set aside for the commercial crew program. This, by the way, is the first time that Congress has matched or rather outdone a President’s request for funding the space agency.
The commercial crew could be ready for action within the next two years or so. The NASA administration has always scolded Congress for not funding it properly. Had the funds not been so much, the commercial crew program would have been delayed all the way until 2018.
The suppliers of NASA, SpaceX and Boeing, are to provide the materials for building and organizing the first space flights in the future. The whole issue is ending reliance on a foreign power such as Russia for the space adventurism, according to The Verge.
Ever since the Space Shuttle program was cancelled in 2011, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft was being used by the Americans. This program cost approximately $80 million per seat which was pinching NASA and Congress badly.
The goal is getting American crew to space in American rockets. Self-sufficiency is far better than dependence. However, for now, NASA has already bought half a dozen seats aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for 2018.
Nevertheless, all is not lost. The money set aside for the Russian flight facilities could instead be put to better use on the commercial crew. The choice lies with NASA and it will be responsible for whatever happens in the future with respect to its changed priorities.