US President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request includes $19.1 billion for space exploration that will support efforts send humans into deep space, including a landing on the planet Mars, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — NASA plans to curtail several climate initiatives, including an orbiting carbon observatory, while maintaining 18 other Earth observation missions from space, according to the statement.
"We’ve had a horizon goal for some time now of reaching Mars, and this budget sustains that work and also provides the resources to keep exploring our solar system and look beyond it," Lightfoot stated.Lightfoot explained that NASA is now assembling systems to launch humans into lunar orbit by 2023. A human Mars landing is planned for the mid-2030s.
He added that the budget supports about 100 space missions, including 40 currently preparing for launch and 60 operating missions.
The missions include a solar probe, a survey of planets beyond the solar system, preparations for an unmanned Mars rover launch in 2020 and next year’s launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, Lightfoot noted.