President Barack Obama’s budget proposal released on Wednesday would boost funds for major science and health programs while making small cuts at NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Top projects at the US space agency would continue, including developing a new spaceship to send astronauts to the International Space Station, working toward an asteroid rendezvous and the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
Obama’s plan, which stands little chance of being enacted by a deadlocked Congress and Senate that have already passed their own budgets, allows for $17.7 billion for NASA, a decrease of 0.3 percent, or $50 million below 2012.
Much of that decline comes from moving education programs for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known by the acronym STEM, out of NASA as part of a major reshuffle.
Ninety STEM programs across 11 different agencies — all worth a total of $180 million — are being funnelled into the Department of Education, in what Obama’s budget described as “the single biggest consolidation proposed this year.”