Trump's New Budget Blueprint For 2018 Includes Cuts Of Some NASA's Projects [VIDEO]By Anne Collins, UniversityHerald Reporter
President Donald Trump has released the 2018 federal budget blueprint on Thursday. It would end work on the proposed NASA mission to put a life-hunting lander on the surface of Europa, Jupiter's ocean-harboring moon. The cut on NASA's overall budget though is not as severe as the cuts being made to other federal agencies.
According to the blueprint, the Budget will not provide funding for a multibillion-dollar mission to land on Europa in order to preserve the balance of NASA's science portfolio. The Budget focuses on missions that were determined to be more important by the science community.
However, the blueprint will continue to fund development of NASA's $2 billion Europa Clipper mission, which will launch in 2020 to investigate the habitability of the Jovian moon. The Europa lander concept was an add-on requested by Congress in the late 2015 to make a surface mission happen.
According to the Space, the budget blueprint also cancels NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission and four NASA Earth-science projects, such as The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3), the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) pathfinder, and the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).
The PACE would monitor Earth's oceans and atmosphere. The OCO-3 would track atmospheric carbon-dioxide level from the International Space Station (ISS) and the CLARREO pathfinder would also be installed in ISS.
The DSCOVR, which is a joint mission of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, had already lifted off in February 2015. It is currently studying the Earth and space weather. The cut is sure to frustrate environmentalists who value its usefulness especially former Vice President Al Gore who initiated the program according to Outer Places.
According to the federal Office of Management and Budget, the proposed budget will give $19.1 billion to NASA, a 0.8-percent cut from 2017 funding levels.
The released blueprint is just a proposal and Trump administration officials said they will unveil a more fleshed-out version in May. The funds won't be allocated until the Congress decision has been made.