Astronaut and Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin is pictured during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the moon. (NASA)

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NASA Budgets for Moon Trip, But Not Under Trump Presidency

His administration does not want to give NASA additional money.

One of President Trump’s top space priorities is to send astronauts back to the moon. But his administration does not want to give NASA any additional money, which means that it will not occur until after he leaves office, even if he wins re-election. Instead, NASA aims to give the private sector a greater role according to a budget proposal to be released Monday. The administration is also looking to end American payments for the International Space Station by 2025. The station is currently scheduled to operate through 2024, but the expectation, according to The New York Times, was that it would be extended through at least 2028. The Times writes that according to NASA documents, the administration will propose $19.9 billion in spending for the space agency in fiscal year 2019, which beings on Oct. 1. That is a $370 million increase from the current year, the result of the budget deal reached in Congress last week and signed by Trump. The administration wants NASA’s spending to drop to $19.6 billion and stay flat through 2023. But with inflation, NASA’s buying power would erode and there would be a budget cut each year. NASA currently has no permanent leaders to carry out new directions. Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma congressman, to be the next administrator, but he has not been confirmed by Congress. This is the longest period in NASA’s history without an administrator.

Read the full story at The New York Times