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White House seeks $18.5 billion for NASA in 2016
Posted: Tue, Feb 3, 2015, 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT)
NASA The White House released its fiscal year 2016 budget request on Monday, including $18.5 billion for NASA to primarily continue its set of ongoing programs. The budget request asks for $18.529 billion, an increase of $519 million over what the agency received for fiscal year 2015. That total includes nearly $1.25 billion for commercial crew, an increase of more than 50 percent over what the program received in 2015. NASA said that funding level is set by the contracts it awarded in September to Boeing and SpaceX, and if funding falls short NASA may have to renegotiate those contracts and delay the completion of those vehicles. The budget includes funding for a mission to Europa, formally starting the project but requesting less than a third of the funding the mission received in 2015. The budget would immediately start work on a pair of new Earth sciences missions, but offers no funding for the ongoing Mars rover Opportunity or Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter missions. NASA said those missions could be continued if they remain in good health and funding can be found elsewhere. NASA seeks $220 million in the budget for various elements of its Asteroid Initiative, including technology for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, but said it has not made a decision yet on what approach to pursue for ARM's robotic element.
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