The National Aeronautic and Space Administration would like to put astronauts back on the Moon by 2020, but a move by lawmakers to cut 16 percent from NASA’s 2010 budget could jeopardize some of the agency’s long-term plans for manned space flight.
According to SpaceNews.com, on June 4 the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee moved to reduce the space agency’s budget, reporting that, “The $670 million cut to the 2010 manned exploration request would leave $3.21 billion, which is less than is available for the effort this year.”
The NASA Watch website breaks down the numbers in a chart that shows the current financial year budget, NASA’s proposed 2010 budget, and the subcommittee’s proposed cuts.
The budget cuts, at this point, are still only recommendations early in the appropriations process. President Obama has created a 10-person panel to review NASA’s plans for the post-Space Shuttle era, and their report could influence how lawmakers view the space agency’s spending priorities.
Before Congress takes a knife to NASA’s programs, though, its members might want to check out an intriguing little article at Universe Today, entitled “8 Ridiculous Things Bigger Than NASA’s Budget,”to get a little perspective.