With an emphasis on earth science, NASA gets a welcome boost in President Barack Obama's new budget released today. The Administration will request $18.7 billion for 2010, which is a $900 million increase over this year's figure. Add to that the $1 billion that Congress included in the stimulus package for the space agency. Although specifics are meager, acting NASA Administrator Christopher J. Scolese said that the new budget plan "ensures NASA maintains its global leadership in Earth and space research, and it advances global climate change studies, funds a robust program of human and robotic space exploration, allows us to realize the full potential of the International Space Station, advances development of new space transportation systems, and renews our commitment to aeronautics.” Most importantly, the budget appears to keep the Bush Administration's plan to build a new launcher that could send humans to the moon. The document repeats Obama's pledge for a 2020 lunar landing, but whether that goal remains on the books will depend on a policy review by the White House during the coming year.
(Photo Credit: NASA)
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