The House’s 2025 NASA Budget Creates Problems for Science, Artemis
The House’s 2025 NASA Budget Creates Problems for Science, Artemis

The Planetary Society, along with a coalition of scientific organizations and over 40 members of Congress, supports a restoration of space science funding to $9 billion. It was a lofty goal, but one fully justified: NASA has been directed to pursue a series of ambitious new missions that will probe the frontiers of human knowledge, from Mars Sample Return, to the Habitable Worlds Observatory, to Dragonfly at Titan. There are dozens more missions in various stages of development that address the highest-priority questions in Earth Science, solar physics, planetary science, and astronomy, and they are facing delays and cancellations due to these severe budget deficits. Restoring NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to $9 billion would address the needs of every high-priority science project and account for the cost increases in personnel and materials from recent inflation.

Though the legislation contains a number of positive items for individual NASA science projects, the House budget nonetheless demonstrates the negative outcomes of ongoing cuts to NASA as a whole: less exploration, less science return, and more division and uncertainty among the nation’s scientific disciplines.

There are two particular accounts that illustrate this problem: Artemis and Science.

Artemis

NASA’s Artemis efforts are funded out of the agency’s Deep Space Exploration Systems account, which includes the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft, the Human Landing System contracts with SpaceX and Blue Origin, and related components such as the Gateway space station and new lunar space suits.

The total amount requested by the White House in FY 2025 for this account was $7.6 billion, a few tens of million less than in 2024 but functionally flat. Within this amount, however, NASA had proposed to shift some funding from the SLS and Orion programs to new programs for later Artemis flights. The thinking was that SLS and Orion, having achieved a successful test launch with Artemis I, would move from a more expansive (and expensive) development project into a leaner, focused production model.

The House rejected this proposal and mandated continued funding for both programs at historical levels, roughly half a billion dollars. The legislation also mandates that NASA spend or exceed funding on lunar space suits and the Human Landing System. These limitations leave only the Gateway space station project and two modest technology development programs to absorb the half-billion-dollar hole created by moving funding back to SLS and Orion.

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/726619213/the-house-s-2025-nasa-budget-creates-problems-for-science-artemis

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