The Appropriations Committee approved a Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget package last month, extending NASA’s planetary science budget by roughly $100 million above and beyond the $1.217 billion allotted in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.
“We were able to restore almost $100 million in funding for planetary science, which will allow NASA to begin important work on the top priorities of the scientific community—a Mars 2020 rover that will advance the goal of a sample return, and a mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa,” describes Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA). “Without continuing work on these missions, we will lose our talented engineers and scientists to other endeavors. And once we lose the talent pool that knows how to land rovers on other planets, it will be extremely difficult to reconstitute.”
The dream of space inspires schoolchildren to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), recognizes Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS).
“The dream of space also inspires brilliant scientists and engineers at the height of their careers to probe even deeper into the secrets of the universe and our origins,” Sen. Mikulski continues. “NASA scientists and their private sector and university partners are peering into the big bang and the origins of the universe, drilling into rocks on Mars, researching cures for salmonella on the International Space Station, building the vehicles that will let humans explore beyond low earth orbit, preparing to analyze samples from the Sun, and looking back to Earth to understand and protect our planet.”
This military and aerospace (mil/aero) geek is happy to see NASA and, more specifically, planetary science gain bipartisan support.