Enlarge / NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine discussed the budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year during a speech by NASA on Monday, February 10, 2020, at Aerojet Rocketdyne's facility at the Stennis Space Center.
Just under ten months after Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to bring the astronauts back to the moon by 2024, the space agency has estimated how much its Artemis program will cost. NASA says it will need an additional $ 35 billion over the next four years – in addition to its existing budget – to develop a human landing system that can get out of the orbit of the moon and accelerate other programs to do that Set date 2024.
NASA chief Doug Loverro shared this number on Monday at the Johnson Space Center when the Trump White House released its budget for 2021. NASA's budget needs to be increased significantly, by 12 percent compared to the previous year's budget. The return on sales is $ 25.2 billion.
The largest growth will be for the Human Landing System ($ 3.37 billion) in fiscal 2021 alone. According to NASA, it would be the first time since the Apollo program in the 1960s that the United States would directly spend money on a lunar lander if Congress funded it. The budget for manned space travel is also financed by a small space station in orbit around the moon, the Lunar Gateway.
This is a significant budgetary requirement, and apart from other NASA programs, it is the type of funding the space agency needs to make progress in landing people on the moon in the mid-2020s. The president's budget also supports a lunar program that does important things on the moon, provides hundreds of millions of dollars to investigate the extraction of ice from the moon poles and create a surface habitat.
The big question is how Congress will respond to this request. During a conference call on Monday evening with reporters, NASA CFO Jeff DeWit said he believed the agency had "a very good shot" to get this budget through Congress. However, given the proposed deep cuts in other parts of the federal discretionary budget and the democratic concern that the 2024 date may be political, it may be difficult to ensure full funding for the Artemis program.
"I am deeply concerned and disappointed with the destructive cuts in key civilian R&D and science and technology programs," said House Science Committee chair Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) of the President's budget proposal. "Although there are bright spots, this proposal will generally damage important parts of our country's federal science and technology company that are driving our economy, keeping our nation competitive, and protecting our environment. I am confident that Congress will reject these rash cuts if we do to do this." Take this budget requirement into account in our approval and approval procedures. "
One of the consistent topics that emerged from the White House's budget proposal on Monday is the support of commercial space.
Unlike a law recently passed in the US House of Representatives, the White House budget plans to use lunar lands developed through public-private partnerships, with contractors investing in their own countries. These countries would also be launched with privately developed rockets to contain the costs of the Artemis program.
According to Loverro, the government has recognized that the landscape of the U.S. aerospace industry has changed. "In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, there were no entrepreneurs willing to invest in space," he said. When NASA developed the Apollo program and the Space Shuttle, it led these programs and provided all of the funding. That has now changed.
"We now have people who are not only willing to take government resources and take risks with that money," he said. "They say: & # 39; We will also put our own money behind it because we believe that there will be a future profit. & # 39; And I think that is a good relationship. And it draws both the old and the old the new players to the market. "
The White House also reiterated its call to use a commercial launch vehicle in the mid-2020s – possibly a Delta IV heavy missile, but likely a Falcon heavy missile – to advance its Europa Clipper mission to the Jupiter Moon. In the past, Congress said this had to be done on NASA's space rocket, but the White House budget says the agency would save "over $ 1.5 billion" with a commercial launch vehicle.
Brian Dewhurst, a budget officer for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations program, said the savings resulted from subtracting the cost of a Delta IV Heavy rocket from the annual program cost of manufacturing a space rocket annually, the $ 2 billion Amount to dollars.