NASA’s recent budget proposals and exploration goals have many in the space community giddy with excitement. With an $18.5 billion budget proposal laying at Washington’s doorstep awaiting approval, it is difficult not to be. Under this enormous financial umbrella, which includes a $400 million increase over last year’s budget, NASA hopes to accelerate their planned missions to Mars, an exploration probe to Jupiter’s water-covered moon, Europa, and continued funding of the Commercial Crew Program, spearheaded by Boeing and SpaceX.
There is also a sinister side to the budget proposal. Though it is by no means an insignificant amount of cash, the $18.5 billion proposal will not cover operations for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the 10-year-strong Opportunity mission on Mars.
NASA Chief, Charles Bolden, remains optimistic though,
“I couldn’t be more excited about our future. We’re making steady progress and continuing to reach for new heights”.
These new heights are going to be reached under NASA’s Orion spacecraft program, designed to accommodate humans on deep space missions, and the Space Launch System, the mega-rocket consigned to the task.[Space.com] [Giphy]