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Report: FY 2018 Senate Spending Bill Would Restore Funds for NASA Missions

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The Senate’s version of an omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2018 includes funds for NASA‘s Earth science missions that are facing cancellation under President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget request, Space News reported Thursday.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) said at the American Astronautical Society’s Goddard Memorial Symposium that the Senate appropriations bill would fund NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud and Ocean Ecosystem mission as well as Earth-observing instruments on the Deep Space Climate Observatory.

Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, noted that lawmakers are currently working to break down overall figures “into specific budgets for specific agencies.”

He added that the Senate spending bill allocates $137 million for the Restore-L satellite servicing mission, which the Trump administration aims to turn into a technology development effort in the FY 2018 and FY 2019 budget proposals.

Van Hollen said he will work to secure funds for Restore-L and for NASA’s education program in the final appropriations bill.

The Trump administration wants to shut down the NASA education program, but both House and Senate bills include funds for the initiative.

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