Flat funding for NASA by the House raises concerns

The bill provides $628.3 million while NASA had requested $3.3 billion for the Human Landing System (HLS) program

Flat funding for NASA by the House raises concerns
Flat funding for NASA by the House raises concerns

Flat funding for NASA by the House raises concerns

The House of Representatives passed a spending bill on July 31 that includes $22.6 billion for NASA, making no major changes to what appropriators had previously approved. Due to the new spending bill, NASA’s lunar lander development effort has got affected the most as the house rejected the proposed 12% increase. The bill provides $628.3 million while NASA had requested $3.3 billion for the Human Landing System (HLS) program.

A few house Republicans voiced their disapproval of the reduced HLS funding. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), ranking member of the House Science Committee, said that investing in their return to the Moon is critical, and yet this appropriations bill ignores the elements they most need to make that happen. He also added that he thinks that this bill is shortsighted, and he hopes that they can do more to support NASA’s critical missions.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), ranking member of space subcommittee, criticized the spending bill by saying that it “chose to easily fund every pet project” yet overlooked NASA. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a media availability at the Kennedy Space Center on July 29, referring to the HLS program that they need to get that 100% funded.

He also commented that getting that funding for developing lunar landers for astronauts poses a bigger challenge than building the landers themselves.
He said that the biggest risks they are currently facing aren’t technical but budgetary.