Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. Space exploration is for all of us, but only by understanding the politics of space can we make it happen.
NASA's final 2020 budget rejected every major cut proposed by the Trump Administration, increased funding for popular congressional projects such as the Space Launch System, and underfunded several key administration proposals, including a human-qualified lunar lander and low-Earth orbit commercialization projects.
The White House released a long-awaited supplemental budget request for NASA today. It proposes an additional $1.6 billion for an accelerated human spaceflight effort to land on the Moon in 2024. This boosts the President's budget request for NASA to $22.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, which is approximately $1.1 billion or 5% more than the amount provided by Congress last year.
Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush announced an ambitious program to return humans to the Moon. It failed. Today the Trump Administration wants the same thing. Can a failed lunar return effort help this one succeed?