NASA Would Receive $4.4 Billion Under House Bill; DOE’s Radioisotope Processing Facility Funding Increased (Image Credit: SNN)
NASA would received an additional $4.4 billion to perform repairs and upgrades on its aging infrastructure, conduct climate change research
NASA would received an additional $4.4 billion to perform repairs and upgrades on its aging infrastructure, conduct climate change research and development (R&D) and improve cybersecurity under an infrastructure spending bill now under consideration by the House of Representatives.
The funding does not include any money to fund a second human lander for NASA’s Artemis program that would likely have gone to the National Team led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The space agency awarded a single source contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The measure divides the extra funding as follows:
$4 billion for infrastructure repairs and upgrades at NASA centers through September 2026;$388 million for climate change R&D through September 2026;$7 million for improvements to cybersecurity through September 2031; and$5 million through September 2031 for the NASA Office of Inspector General to monitor and evaluate spending projects funded by the bill.
NASA had sought $5.4 billion to tack a backlog of infrastructure projects at centers across the country. The bill does not specific on how NASA would spend the $4 billion designated for infrastructure improvements.
The measure is specific about the $388 million earmarked for climate change R&D. Specific areas funded include:
$225 million to advance sustainable aviation; $85 million for R&D on sub-seasonal to seasonal models and observations, climate resilience and sustainability, and airborne instruments, campaigns, and surface networks to understand, observe, and mitigate global climate change and its impacts;$50 million to support the wildfire community and improve wildfire fighting operations, including the Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations project; and$28 million for investments in data management and processing to understand, observe, and mitigate the global climate change.
The bill also includes $213 million for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Radioisotope Processing Facility. The facility produces nuclear fuel for NASA’s Mars rovers and deep-space probes, among other applications.
The measure would require approval from the full House and Senate. Republicans have been critical of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan.
News, Artemis, Biden Administration, Blue Origin, climate change, climate research, cybersecurity, Department of Energy, DOE, Elon Musk, House of Representatives, Human Landing System, human spaceflight, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, moon landings, NASA, NASA Office of Inspector General, NASA OIG, National Team, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL, Radioisotope Processing Facility, SpaceX, U.S. Senate.