State of NASA delivered at Kennedy Space Center

$18.5B budget proposed for fiscal year 2016

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Standing in front of what he called tangible proof of NASA's hard work in space exploration, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivered the annual State of NASA Monday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center.

During the more than 30-minute-long speech, Bolden announced an $18.5 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, which is a half-billion dollars more than last year's.

"I can unequivocally say that the state of NASA is strong," said Bolden.

Of that $18.5 billion budget, $2.5 billion focuses on projects at Kennedy Space Center, including the commercial crew program.

NASA recently awarded contacts to Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts from United States soil to the International Space Station and someday beyond.

Also still funded was NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is a controversial mission to one day put astronauts on an asteroid.

"The mission will test asteroid techniques and may provide information to inform future work to help us protect our home planet," said Bolden.

NASA also stayed on track for a 2017 test flight of its Orion capsule. The test flight would be launched for the first time by a 322-foot Space Launch System heavy rocket from KSC.

Orion completed a key test flight in December. The first crewed flight could happen as early as 2021.

The budget also includes a $5.3 billion to space science, which will go towards building the next rover for Mars. 

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