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President's Budget Proposal Bodes Well For NASA, NASA Glenn

Earth and Mars (Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr.com)
Earth and Mars (Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr.com)

By ideastream's Brian Bull

The White House released its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal on Tuesday.  

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is slated for $19 billion and officials at NASA’s Cleveland facility expect to get a $600 million slice of that pie.  

James Free is NASA Glenn’s director. He says this year’s budget is largely on par with the previous fiscal year.   He says the funding will help keep his facility on track with what he calls their “critical programs.”

"It’s work on aircraft propulsion…and that’s around cleaner burning -- transitioning to hybrid --systems for aircraft.  And then on the space exploration front, it’s electric propulsion in space, and unlocks the Mars architecture.  Our solar electric propulsion helps you find your way to Mars more efficiently than has been found with other technologies.”

NASA Glenn scientists and engineers are developing technologies that’ll help crews land on the red planet within 20 to 30 years. 

Free says it’s still up to Congress to decide how to allocate the final amount for each of NASA'S ten satellite facilities.  For now, he doesn’t expect to cut back on either staff or projects.  He says he stays in touch with Ohio’s congressional delegation to help make sure funding is secure for NASA Glenn which turns 75 this year.