WASHINGTON – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will get its budget increased by almost $1.3 billion.

On December 16 the Congress announced the space agency that took the man to the Moon will receive $19.3 billion for 2016 fiscal year. Most of the programs of the agency will be funded with the needed amount and several of them will receive more money than expected.

A photo of the NASA open for the public. Photo: Space/NASA.
A photo of the NASA open for the public. Photo: Space/NASA.

The Space Launch System was one the most benefited by the the approved budget. It will receive $2 billion in the omnibus spending bill. The administration had requested $1.36 billion, the project received almost 50 percent more than it was expected.

According to NASA the System will be the most powerful rocket they have ever built since it will enable astronauts in the Orion spacecraft to travel deeper into the solar system. The agency wrote in its official webpage the vehicle will enable astronauts to begin their journey to explore destinations far into the solar system.

It seems that The Planetary Society will be also benefited since it will receive $1.632 billion, which is about $270 million above the amount that the president requested. Casey Dreier, director of advocacy at The Planetary Society, wrote in the Huffington Post members of the society sent more than 120,000 announcements to the Congress and the White House in 2015  asking for an increase.

The Planetary Society wrote in its official webpage the division is a section within NASA’s Science Directorate that is responsible for all robotic missions to solar system destinations except the Sun. Their most remarkable project  is Curiosity, a robot that is in Mars to investigate if the planet is or was in any moment suitable for life. The rover has its own Twitter account, @MarsCuriosity, where people can see pictures and information directly updated by the machine.

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Director of the Coalition for Space Exploration said:  “These investments represent a strong commitment to America’s human, robotic and science exploration programs. The robust funding levels achieved in the omnibus will support the continuing development of America’s new space exploration systems – leading to the launch of Exploration Mission-1 in 2018. The Space Launch System and the Orion crew vehicle will take humans deeper into space than ever before.”

NASA ordered another Boeing crew mission to the ISS

The International Space Station. Photo: NASA.
The International Space Station. Photo: NASA.

Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program announced Boeing CSR-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon will launch crew to the ISS two times per year since the agency ordered the projects to Boeing and SpaceX.

John Mulholland, vice president and manager of Boeing’s commercial crew program said as their company begun its second century their Starliner programs continued Boeing’s tradition of space industry innovation with commercial service to the space station. He declared they valued NASA’s confidence in the Starliner system to keep their crews safe.

“With the commercial crew vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX, we will soon add a seventh crew member to International Space Station missions, which will significantly increase the amount of crew time to conduct research. This will enable NASA and our partners to ramp up the important research being done every day for the benefit of all humanity.” said Kirk Shireman, manager for the International Space Station Program.

New unanticipated spacewalk will take take place next week

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Korpa are preparing for an unanticipated spacewalk that will take place in the International Space Station. It appears that The Mobile Transporter, which is a cart that moves around the International Space Station to transport gears to worksites, is stucked.

According to NASA, the mission will be the 191st spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. NASA TV will cover the event 90 minutes prior to the start of the space walk.

Source: Spaceflight Insider