Science of NASA and NSF succeed in the Senate bill | Science



A technician inspects the mirrors of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

DAVID HIGGINBOTHAM / NASA

A spending panel of the US Senate. UU He proposed to give healthy impulses to space research at NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) next year.

The increases are part of a bill of expenditure 2019 marked until yesterday by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science of Appropriations of the Senate. It is a little less generous for the investigation than a version approved last month by the parallel spending committee of the US House of Representatives, but it is way above what President Donald Trump requested for those agencies. The bills cover the fiscal year that begins October 1.

The panel has allocated $ 21.3 billion for NASA, $ 6.4 billion of which would go to the science division. That's an increase of 2.8% for science, or $ 180 million above the levels of fiscal year 2018, and $ 500 million above the Trump application. Within the science division, earth sciences would receive $ 1.9 billion, planetary science would receive $ 2.2 billion, and astrophysics would receive $ 1.5 billion, of which $ 305 million is for the James Webb Space Telescope ( JWST), the over budget project whose release was delayed to 2019. The land science allocation includes money to re-establish the Carbon Monitoring System, a $ 10 million annual research program that studies how sinks and sources of carbon can be remotely monitored from space. After the Trump administration quietly killed the program, users of the House of Representatives voted in favor of returning the money. Now, the Senate took the first step to follow his example. "Thank God, Congress has something to say about that," Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said in a statement.

The Chamber's spending panel further supported NASA's science, allocating $ 6.7 billion. It coincided with the Senate figure for earth sciences, but it invested 2.76 billion dollars in planetary science, thanks in large part to the efforts of its president, Representative John Culberson (R-TX), to develop a landing module in a planned orbiter around Europe, a moon of Jupiter The $ 1.3 billion mark for the astrophysics chamber also contained $ 305 million for the JWST.

NSF would receive $ 8.069 billion under the Senate proposal. That is an increase of 4%, or $ 302 million, with respect to fiscal year 2018, and almost $ 600 more than what the president requested. But it would be $ 106 million less than what the House's spending panel has approved. The $ 6.3 billion bill for its six research addresses would increase by $ 222 million, compared to $ 317 million in the House bill. Conversely, Senate users were slightly more generous with NSF's $ 900 million education account than their House counterparts, which means an increase of $ 13 million instead of fixed financing. Both agencies want NSF to move forward at full speed to build three medium-sized research vessels. a change from previous years when the Senate prevailed over low assignments in the House. The Senate bill adds $ 60 million to begin the construction of a third ship, surpassing NSF's $ 29 million request to complete the construction of two ships. The users of the house went completely in this year, giving NSF $ 98 million above their order.

Yesterday's profit margin was short and sweet after Republicans refrained from adding "poisonous pill" provisions to the $ 63 billion billions of justice and trade portions. But wait a few fights tomorrow in the full committee when those provisions are mentioned and the Democrats offer amendments. There will also be more details after the dust settles: as is its custom, the Senate committee has delayed the publication of both the text of the bill and the language of the attached report until after the full committee vote.


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