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EghtesadOnline: President Trump's fiscal 2020 budget request includes $21.02 billion for NASA, funding the agency's ongoing efforts to develop commercial spacecraft and infrastructure in low-Earth orbit and to press ahead with construction and launch of the world's most powerful rocket and the Orion crew ships that will carry astronauts back to the moon.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, speaking to agency workers at the Kennedy Space Center Monday, said the budget proposal fully funds a mini outpost known as Gateway that will be launched into lunar orbit in the 2020s, along with landers to carry payloads -- and eventually astronauts -- back to the lunar surface for extended exploration, CBS reported.

Bridenstine said the budget request reflects the priorities of Space Policy Directive 1, signed by President Donald Trump in December 2017, which calls for NASA to encourage the commercialization of low-Earth orbit, including operations aboard the International Space Station, while focusing on long-range plans to return to the moon and, eventually, Mars.

Human exploration and operations totals $9.307 billion in the budget request:  $5.022 billion for deep space exploration systems and $4.426 billion for low-Earth orbit and spaceflight operations, according to Financial Tribune.

If NASA stays on its current course -- and if congress continues its support -- astronauts will land on the moon by 2028, according to a budget overview chart.

The budget would provide $1.458 billion for ongoing operations with the International Space Station and $1.828 billion for space transportation, including ongoing development of SpaceX's commercially developed Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner ferry ships.

 

Budget NASA Mars Trump Infrastructure Moon Funding Mission commercial spacecraft Orion crew ships