Trump budget proposal to end funding for ISS, several NASA missions

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Trump budget proposal to end funding for ISS, several NASA missions

The U.S. has contributed about $100 billion to the station over this time.

The budget request "reflects the administration's confidence that America will lead the way back to the moon and take the next giant leap from where we made that first small step for humanity almost 50 years ago", NASA acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said today in a "State of NASA" address at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

In total, the Trump administration requested $19.6 billion from Congress for 2019.

The budget to be proposed for NASA later today will offer some preliminary support for a lunar exploration program, but has no specific timelines for when humans might return to the surface of the Moon-nor funding to make such an ambitious undertaking happen.

The Trump administration recognizes the benefits of global cooperation in space, the document says, and is willing to expand collaboration with USA allies "while working with a broader range of partners at all levels of capability".

The budget proposal, due to be released February 12, will include a request for $150 million to support the development of commercial capabilities in low Earth orbit to succeed the ISS, for which NASA could be a customer, according to an internal agency document obtained by SpaceNews. Shown here: an artist's depiction of NASA's Deep Space Gateway in orbit near the moon. If the ISS was no longer a government concern, that money could be allocated elsewhere - perhaps, even, to other off-world ventures.

Another controversial budget proposal would cancel NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope mission, or WFIRST, which according to NASA is "designed to settle essential questions in the areas of dark energy, exoplanets and infrared astrophysics". Mr. Lightfoot had this to say about the President's new budget for NASA. Last year, Russian Federation revealed plans to build a luxury hotel on the station - however, the Trump administration's decision to cut funding in 2024 would make it impossible for the hotel to turn a profit sooner than that. The first module could launch from Kennedy Space Center atop a Space Launch System rocket by 2023. "NASA has got itself into a position like they had with the shuttle".

The Trump administration has submitted its budget proposal to congress for approval.

The government has cited higher priorities at the USA space agency for backing the cancellation. NASA took steps to outsource cargo supply flights to the ISS to the private space companies Orbital ATK and SpaceX under President George W. Bush; the Obama administration extended the model to hire Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts there.

Under the administration's budget proposal, released Monday, NASA would stop paying for the space station by 2025. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. "Turning off the lights and walking away from our sole outpost in space at a time when we're pushing the frontiers of exploration makes no sense".

While the budget plan said it places renewed support on returning humans to the moon, followed by human expeditions to Mars and elsewhere, no precise timeline and few details are provided.

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