The administration’s proposed NASA budget was released today, and it contains significant commitment to Earth science by increasing that portion of the budget by $1.3B or 19 percent (including ARRA funds). NASA earth science researchers are tasked with understanding how the Earth system is changing, how it supports life, how life impacts the Earth system, and how the collected information will benefit the nation.
The budget furthers the commitment for a global climate change research and monitoring system with endorsement of four new satellite missions that were identified in the Earth Science Decadal Survey. Two of the earth observation missions — Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) and Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESAT-II) — will be pursued aggresively with projected launches as early as 2013. Two other missions — Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) and Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) — will also accelerate.
NASA has also begun development of the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) that is now fully funded within the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) that is coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey. The plan is to complete instrument and mission design review of LDCM in 2009.
The budget also contains planning for new remote-sensing and information system technologies. The budget indicates that studies are planed to assess technology requirements, with three areas of bid: instrument incubator, advanced information systems, and advanced technology initiatives.
On a green note, there’s also an aeronautics initiative to research technologies to reduce fuel consumption, noise and emissions from air travel.
The president made the following statement with the release of the 2010 NASA budget:
“When I was growing up, NASA inspired the world with achievements we are still proud of. We cannot cede our leadership in space. We need a real vision for space exploration. Let’s also tap NASA’s ingenuity to build the airplanes of tomorrow and to study our own planet so we can combat global climate change. Under my watch, NASA will inspire the world, make America stronger, and help grow the economy.”