Senate Panel-Approved FY 2017 Spending Bill Gives $19B to NASA

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BudgetThe Senate Appropriations Committee’s commerce, justice and science panel has approved a fiscal year 2017 spending bill that will provide NASA with a $19.3 billion total budget, Space News reported Tuesday.

Jeff Foust writes that the amount is $21 million more than the space agency’s fiscal 2016 budget and includes $3.45 billion for the Space Launch System and Orion programs — an increase of $180 million from allocations for both projects in the previous year.

“This level makes it possible for the agency to continue supporting ongoing science and exploration missions,” Sen. Richard Shelby, CJS subcommittee chairman, said in the report.

The bill also looks to meet requirements for work on SLS’ Exploration Upper Stage and a crewed SLS/Orion mission by 2021, the report said.

It will also allocate $5.4 billion for science programs, along with $1.18 billion for the Commercial Crew program and $687 million for space technology.

Jeffrey Mervis also reported on Science Magazine that the bill gives the National Science Foundation a $46 million increase to its current $7.46 billion budget, which is below the White House’s request of $500 million additional funds for NSF.

The report noted that more details on the proposed budget will be provided at the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting Thursday.

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