The fiscal 2013 budget was released today and the news for NASA is about what was posted here over the weekend:
(AP) — The president proposed cutting $309 million for studying planets this year, with more cuts in future years. After an already mostly built Mars mission in 2013, future journeys to the red planet are eliminated, put on hold or restructured. While the study of planets would be sliced 21 percent, spending for the overall budget and long delayed James Webb Space Telescope would increase 21 percent.
On a positive note, the President again proposed serious money to jump start America’s nascent Newspace capabilities. The hope is companies like SpaceX will be able to provide launch services for US astronauts much sooner than the proposed SLS and for tens of millions less than a ride on a Russian rocket. Regular readers know I’m a big supporter of Newspace. But in the past Congress, driven by lawmakers representing traditional aerospace, along with Huntsville, Alabama, Houston, Texas, and Florida’s spacecoast, has pared that portion down considerably.