President Donald Trump is calling for a 12% increase in NASA’s budget for 2021, a bump largely targeted at transforming the administration’s goal of landing people on the lunar surface by 2024 from ambitious dream to tangible reality.
The proposal requests $25.2 billion for NASA in 2021 — the agency got $22.6 billion in 2020 — with a dedicated $3.4 billion in funding for a human-rated moon lander system, the first time since the Apollo program in the 1960s that NASA could get dedicated funding for that kind of hardware. The space agency plans to return to the moon under a new program called Artemis that would put boots on lunar powder in four years.
“This is a 21st century budget worthy of 21st century space exploration,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during a speech Monday.
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