The Biden administration wants $27.2 billion for NASA's 2024 budget, with the space agency prioritizing Moon and Mars missions:
NASA is staying focused on the Artemis lunar program, its Moon to Mars objectives, and maintaining a presence in low Earth orbit as part of the agency's proposed budget for 2024. The space agency also has a new item on its annual wishlist: a space tug to deorbit the International Space Station (ISS) at the end of its life.
[...] NASA's proposed budget includes $180 million for developing a deorbit capability for the ISS by the end of 2030. Should the budget be approved, the space agendcy would call upon the private sector to come up with a space tug concept to lower the orbit of the ISS so that it can reenter and burn up through Earth's atmosphere. NASA had previously suggested using Russia's Progress cargo spacecraft to deorbit the ISS, and apparently that option is still on the table as well.
[...] Still, NASA's Artemis program sits at the top of the space agency's to-do list, snagging $8.1 billion from the budget (an increase from last year's $7.5 billion). The plan still stands for NASA to land humans on the Moon as early as 2025, and start on the construction of the Lunar Gateway, an outpost orbiting the Moon that will house astronauts and scientific research.
The budget request will allocate $2.5 billion towards the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which was used for the liftoff of the Artemis 1 mission in November 2022, "to focus on successful completion of Artemis 2, and make necessary preparations for Artemis 3 and 4, which includes the enhanced upper stage configuration and other upgrades," Schaus said during the call.
[...] Following that same objective, NASA is also focusing on its Mars Sample Return Mission to bring back rock samples currently being stowed away by the Perseverance Rover on the Martian surface. The future mission was allocated $949 million to launch samples from the surface of Mars as early as 2030, an increase from $800 million originally assigned to the mission the year before.
NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission is getting a portion of the total funding for science, which adds up to $8.26 billion in the 2024 budget. Some of the missions that were highlighted as part of the budget include the James Webb Space Telescope, the Nancy Grace Roman Telescope (scheduled for launch in 2027), the Europa Clipper mission to study Jupiter's moon (scheduled to launch in 2024), and the ExoMars Mission.
(Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Friday March 17, @03:08AM
One of the Cygnus resupply craft did an orbit boost not terribly long ago, So we have kit that can do it available. That hardware is on the ground though, I don't think there's one currently docked up.
Starship is, hypothetically with a big disclaimer about Elon time, supposed to make an orbital test flight next month. If successful, it may open up some new options too. The projected payload on Starship, hypothetically with a big disclaimer about Elon optimism, would be enough to lift the entire mass of ISS in two trips. (Mass, not volume.) That's more than enough delta-v budget to go the other way and deorbit the station.