This bill outlines the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) budget for 2016-2017, providing $18.5 billion in funding for fiscal year 2016 and $18.8 billion in 2017. It would increase use of the International Space Station for science research, encourage the commercial use of space, further develop protection from solar flares, remove space debris, and support development of a new space telescope that would aid in detecting Earth-sized planets. Funding would also be provided for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
In addition, NASA would report to Congress more frequently and work with organizations like the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and the National Academies to review NASA’s effectiveness.
The bill also alters the budgets of existing divisions within NASA. Specifically, it:
Significantly decreases funding for NASA’s Earth Science Division;
Decreases funding for NASA’s Heliophysics Division;
Significantly increases funding for NASA’s Planetary Science Division, which experienced a series of large funding cuts in 2013;
- Increases funding for NASA’s Astrophysics Division.