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NASA Gets A Massive Budget From Congress For Next Year

NASA’s budget for 2016 has just been presented by Congress – and they
have assigned the agency $750 million more than they actually demanded. This makes agency’s full budget for 2016 nearly $19.3 billion, which is astonishingly $1.3 billion more than last year. The budget increases aid to numerous key programs at NASA, counting its Commercial Crew program, its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the amazing Orion spacecraft. Senator Bill Nelson said yesterday "We are going back into space with Americans on American rockets, and we are going to Mars,"

Image Credt: NASA

Perhaps most excitingly, $175 million of the budget has been saved separately for the Europa Multi-Flyby Mission, a spacecraft that will be directed to Europa in the early 2020s, and this kind of budget means that NASA must add a lander for the surface of this icy moon of Jupiter. A report published on Ars Technica says "This mission shall include an orbiter with a lander that will include competitively selected instruments and that funds shall be used to finalize the mission design concept," The large amount of funding fundamentally permits NASA to meet most of the other aims it has set itself. 

Significantly, they were given the $1.243 billion of funding for the Commercial Crew program that they have been pushing so hard for. Administrator Charlie Bolden lately told IFLScience that he tot up this – getting SpaceX and Boeing’s manned spacecraft up and running – as one of the main goals of his time in office.

However, the budget still needs to pass a vote in Congress in upcoming week, which appears likely at the moment, even though a controversial surveillance bill was snitched in along with it. If it gets by this test, the White House will practically sign it into law.

So Europa, here we come.

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