by Axios | 5.13.19
The Trump administration will ask Congress to authorize another $1.6 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2020 in order to put the agency on track to return humans to the moon by 2024, President Trump tweeted Monday evening.
Why it matters: The administration had previously submitted a budget proposal to Congress that did not include funding for the ambitious moon mission, which moved the timeline for a crewed mission to the moon up by four years compared to NASA's previous plans. The space agency had planned to give Congress a revised budgetary figure in April, with rumors of a $5 billion to $8 billion request discussed in the media and by lawmakers.
Details: On a press call, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the additional funding provides a "down payment" on NASA’s efforts to land humans on the moon by 2024 and that more funding will be required in later years.
Our thought bubble: Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer says this request doesn't mean the 2024 deadline will be met. It's unclear exactly how far these new funds will go toward meeting the ambitious timeframe laid out by the Trump administration. The real test will be in how much extra funding is put toward the moon mission after 2020.
Written by Axios
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