The U.S. administration has asked Congress for US $ 21 billion to Finance the National office for Aeronautics and space research (NASA) in the 2020 fiscal year, which begins October 1. This is stated in published on Monday on the website of the space Agency’s budget request. The document States that the key priorities for NASA for the next decade are missions to explore the moon and Mars. At the start of the implementation of programs of this direction the White house is asking Congress to allocate almost half of the requested budget.
The requested budget for NASA by $ 283 million dollars or 1.4 percent more than in 2019″, – stated on the Agency’s website. In the current fiscal year, lawmakers have allocated for the management of $ 500 million more than is now demanded by the administration. The document also provides a list of the academic mission, which, according to the recommendations of the White house, NASA should be abolished or at least frozen for an indefinite time.
WFIRST is not needed
The artistic representation of the space telescope WFIRST
The administration of U.S. President Donald trump’s budget request for NASA proposes to abolish three of the academic mission of the Agency: development project telescope Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), as well as two projects to study the Earth’s climate.
This is not the first time the White house is trying to freeze the project to create a new flagship space telescope WFIRST worth $ 3.2 billion. In the future he will have to replace not yet launched space telescope of a new generation “James Webb” (output into orbit is scheduled for 2021). For example, a similar proposal was made by the Bush Administration and in the budget request to Congress for NASA in 2019. Then follow with a proposal to celebrate five scientific missions for the study of Earth’s climate. However, the U.S. Senate voted to continue support of projects and allocated funds for the continued development of WFIRST in order to have time to prepare for launch in 2025.
In the new budget request the White house says that “the project development WFIRTS must be stopped and allocated to it the funds on the completion of the space telescope “James Webb”, which you can launch many times postponed. It is also proposed to discontinue the support of scientific missions PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) and CLARREO Pathfinder. The first refers to the placing into earth orbit in 2022 satellite whose task will be to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere, and observations of aerosol concentrations in her joints. In addition, using the apparatus proposed to monitor the biosphere of the oceans. In the framework of the CLARREO Pathfinder means sending in 2020 the International space station, a new scientific tool that will enable the Agency to verify the technologies needed for the next stage of the project aimed at collecting data to update climate models.
Last year, both mission, along with three other (of the same orientation) was included in the list of projects that have been proposed to freeze or close. However, in this case, the U.S. Congress rose to their defense by selecting the required funding. At the same time, in the new budget request, the White house asks to restore funding to two other projects that he himself had proposed to close a year ago. They study climate change. One of them is the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). It offers the launch of the satellite to monitor the planet’s climate and space weather. In the second Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) is planned for installation outside the ISS a new scientific tool with which to be monitoring the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Booster SLS is almost ready
The most important objectives of the new space program of NASA is returning humans to the moon and then to Mars, in the new request budget for “a new research company” is proposed to allocate 10.7 billion dollars. By these means it is planned to complete the construction of the new carrier rocket of superheavy class Space Launch System (SLS) and the spacecraft Orion for manned launches, as well as to Finance projects aimed at the first stages of the development of the lunar stations and technology required for the construction of the first human settlement on the earth’s satellite.
The new carrier rocket SLS NASA makes big bets. It is expected that the carrier will have a few modifications. One will be used for launch of new exploratory missions in deep space, the other for sending astronauts to other planets in the Solar system, particularly Mars. The first of the modifications is called Block 1. Her feature – the use of oxygen-hydrogen upper stage of the rocket Delta IV Heavy, which was renamed Cryogenic Propulsion Stage. SLS Block 1 will be able to transport 70 tons to low Earth orbit. As indicated in the published document, the first test launch of the carrier rocket in an unmanned mode is planned for the “beginning of the 2020s”, which indicates the deviation from the original timeline for the launch, which was to be held in 2020 under the mission EM-1 (Exploration Mission 1, “the Research mission No. 1”).
Later in the 105-ton modification of the Block 1B upper stage will be replaced with a more powerful EUS (Exploration Upper Stage, upper stage of the Research). In the modification Block 2, which will appear after 2030 and will have a carrying capacity of not less than 130 tonnes, will be upgraded and the top step, and the lateral solid-propellant boosters.
In the new budget request for fiscal year 2020 for NASA, the White house proposes to postpone work on the development of modifications of the carrier rocket Space Launch System, focusing on the completion of the initial variant of the SLS, which is almost ready, and redistributing some of the planned projects of launches of other launch vehicles. Also, the US Administration made a proposal not to use SLS for one of the planned missions, to space exploration. Instead, the White house proposes to allocate an additional $ 600 million for a Europa Clipper mission, whose launch is planned for 2023. The Agency NASA, in turn, is considering the possibility to entrust this mission to any commercial contractor is not using it for SLS. This, according to the Agency, “will save more than $ 700 million that can be allocated to other projects.”
Lunar orbital station Gateway and the first lunar colony
In the case of any budget request for NASA, the White house, the head of the space Agency Jim Breidenstein gathered at the Space center. Kennedy press-conference on which has told about the further plans and prospects of development of the moon.
“For the first time in more than 10 years we have a budget that allows us to return to the moon. It’s not just about sending robotic missions to the moon’s surface. We’re talking about sending people in order to gain a foothold there forever”, — said the head of the space Agency.
“We’re going to the moon in the next decade with innovative technologies and systems to explore more places on the moon’s surface than ever before,” — added to NASA.
“Starting with a series of small commercial missions to the moon this year, we will use new ships, robots, and eventually by 2028 we can send people to conduct scientific research on the entire surface of the moon. During these missions, the crew could stay on the lunar surface for up to seven days longer than during any other missions to the moon in history, — stated in the published document request budget.
During the press conference, Breidenstein many times touched upon the subject of lunar orbital station Gateway, the development of which in the budget request for the year 2020 for the Agency proposes to allocate all the necessary tools. The budget includes “$10.7 billion to continue the construction of key components” for “sending astronauts to the moon and beyond”, as well as $363 million “to support the commercial development of a large lunar lander, which first time will be able to transport cargo and then astronauts to the moon.”
Initially, the first components of the station Gateway was planned to start using the upgraded version of the carrier rocket Space Launch System, but the new budget request indicates that this can lead to delays in planned launches. In 2020, the completion of the SLS is planned to allocate only 375 million dollars. Therefore, some components of the NPP is expected to deliver to the moon with commercial contractors. The document also States that by 2022 the orbit of the moon must be delivered to the electromotive, and other modules that will allow astronauts to stay on the station, starting in 2024.
As noted in management, the experiences gained in sending astronauts to the moon will be used during the flight to Mars.
“The moon is nothing but a dummy. Our goal is Mars. But in order to achieve a comprehensive approach is necessary”, — said Breidenstein at a press conference.
The artistic representation of “marashda-2020” conducting the collection of soil samples to send to Earth in a subsequent mission
NASA has told and about future plans for Mars exploration. In particular, the head of the space Agency noted that the requested budget in its entirety in the form of 2.6 billion dollars was included to support two new projects to study Mars. We are talking about sending to the Red planet in 2020 and 2026, respectively, of two new Rovers. In each of these missions is planned for a phased project of collecting samples of Martian soil to send to Earth for study.
About the project “Mars Rover in 2020” we wrote repeatedly. The launch is scheduled for the summer of 2020, and landing on Mars – February 18, 2021. In the course of this mission to the Red planet is planned to send a special robotic helicopter that will conduct reconnaissance and to transmit to the Rover data about potentially interesting targets for study.
On the Rover, which is planned to send to Mars in 2026, NASA announced for the first time. However, unfortunately, the document more details on the mission were not disclosed. It is only said that the mission will be the second and final part of the project to collect samples of Martian soil and deliver these samples to Earth.
In 2020, NASA plans to spend on “Mars activities” $ 109 million. The bulk of these funds will be used in the early stages of the development of the mission “Mars Rover-2026”. Subsequent years the Agency would be allocated a few hundred million dollars to continue development of this project.
The request of the White house 21 billion dollars for the development of the space program NASA for 2020 does not mean that the Agency will get all the money. The final budget bills will be determined by the U.S. Congress.
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