There’s great news, everybody! NASA’s most recent budget has been placed forward by Congress – and they’ve awarded the agency $750 million over what was requested. It means NASA’s complete 2016 budget is $19.3 billion– that amazingly – in an era of slashing expenses – is nearly $1.3 billion over the previous year.
The budget will increase funding to may critical NASA programs, which include its SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, Commercial Crew program, and Orion spacecraft. According to Senator Bill Nelson, they’re returning to space with Americans upon American rockets, and they’re going to Mars.
Most interestingly, though, $175 million of this budget was set apart for a spacecraft which is going to be sent to Europa within the early 2020s, the Europa Multi-Fly Mission, and its budget will dictate the agency has to involve a lander for the surface of the icy Jupiter moon of Jupiter. According to Ars Technica, the mission will involve an orbiter that has a lander which will involve competitively chosen instruments and that funds will be utilized to finalize the concept of the mission design.
A lander was touted for the Europa mission before, yet NASA hasn’t been keen to solidly committing to anything just yet, as there are multiple unknowns in regard to undertaking this type of a landing. It’ll remain to be seen how they will proceed with the request.
Nevertheless, the massive quantity of funding pretty much permits the agency to meet the majority of the additional goals it set for itself.