WASHINGTON – NASA Administrator Bill Nelson testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill about the space agency’s budget.
NASA has requested $26 billion for the fiscal year 2023.
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The money would fund future moon missions and keep the space station in operation through 2030.
Nelson said the NASA Artemis III mission would be ready for a scheduled 2025 moon landing, but added that every space mission deals with delays.
Right now, the Space Launch System is inside the Vehicle Assembly Building for repairs after testing at Kennedy Space Center last month.
Until that wet dress rehearsal can be complete, the Artemis I launch will continue to be delayed.
Nelson also stated the agency was committed to doing a better job with budgeting.
When Nelson was a United States senator, he was a key advocate for funding the Space Launch System.
But after eleven years of development racking up $20 billion for contractors, Tuesday, Nelson proposed to current lawmakers to only pay companies when they reach their milestones.
‘’And that allows us to move away from what has been a plague on us in the past,’’ the administrator said.
Nelson also wants Congress to support NASA’s proposal to develop a second lunar lander alongside the SpaceX Starship.
Nelson used the military as an example when he testified that competition in spaceflight has saved the U.S. armed forces $40 billion in launch costs.