State of NASA
President Trump has announced his proposed 2019 budget for NASA. News 25’s Payton Malone traveled out to Stennis Space Center for the State of NASA and has more.
One small step to the moon is how many are referring to President Trump’s 2019 NASA budget proposal. The $19.9 billion budget is 400 million more than last year’s. “The budget focuses NASA’s core exploration mission”
$10.5 billion to be exact is proposed for exploration which Stennis Space Center plays a vital role in. President Trump proposed $132 million to the South Mississippi space center which will help fund projects to take astronauts back to the moon. “The administrator talked about going back to the moon and using that as a point to also exploit more than we did in the Apollo program, but also as an evolution. Many of the things that we’re going to do, learning how to operate a few days away from home will help us feel far more confident when we take that hundreds of days away from home leap to go to Mars.”
Last October, News 25 brought you a story about the first public viewing of a rocket test since 2004 at Stennis. In President Trump’s new proposal it does include more rocket testing with hopes of sending people further into deep space. Robert Lightfoot, the administrator of NASA, says he believes this proposal will eventually take explorers to new worlds. “SLS and Orion will be transporting crews routinely to Lunar Orbiting Platform Gateway and they’ll be transiting to and from the Lunar Surface preparing for more further deep space exploration. We had to make some hard decisions as we always have to.”
Some of those hard decisions could hit closer to home as International Space Station would lose direct funding by 2025 under the proposed budget and these same cuts could affect education programs at Stennis. “The president’s budget request this year as it did last year zeroes out the funding for that office entirely.”
For now, officials tells News 25 Stennis will continue operating under the previous approved budget.