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tv   Jeff Foust on the Space Program  CSPAN  August 19, 2017 9:42pm-9:52pm EDT

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lls. we wanted remind you of our coverage plans for monday. it gets underway at 7:00 a.m. eastern on "washington journal," live from the goddard center in maryland. then we will simulcast nasa tv coverage of the solar eclipse monday beginning at noon eastern. are going to change of focus and nasa'sre broadly at program, their budget for the upcoming year, the nasa space programs. we had a chance earlier to talk reporter jeff faust about the budget and more. jeff, in your "space news" budget,about the nasa you quote richard shelby who
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says the current administration to except where the previous administration left lofty vision for space. where does the budget stand in this process? administration, in their fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, requested less than what nasa received in 2017. and it puts cuts into various of thes, including some exploration programs, science programs, and elsewhere in the agency. and what you are seeing from senator shelby and others in congress, is a reaction to those , and efforts in the appropriations committee to restore those cuts. thatat are the key areas congress would like to see restored to the nasa budget? >> there are a couple of programs in nasa's exploration program.
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a next generation, heavy lift rocket that will be used for missions beyond earth's orbit, including mars. another is the orion spacecraft, that will carry astronauts on those missions to the moon, mars, and the solar system. both of those programs received less money and 2018 than what congress appropriated in 2017. congress is trying to overturn those proposed cuts. another area is nasa's earth science program. the administration sought to cut $200 million, about 10% of the programs budget. row graham's budget. the senate bill would actually restore funding for those programs. >> what does the earth science program do? >> it monitors the outer earth climate, it studies everything from ocean currents to the levels of government dockside -- carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.
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and also, long-term trends in the ocean, the atmosphere, and on land. what sort of guidance does congress get, in terms of priorities for the administration. what does the trump administration want to do with nasa? has notdministration provided to many guidelines, in terms of what it wants to do differently, for nasa, then what the previous administration did. the new administration has only been in office for seven months. nasa is not a high priority issue. right now, it is sort of a continuation of the previous including a series of human missions to mars in the future. >> 19.8 billion for nasa and 2018. how does that number compared with the heyday of apollo in the 1960's and 1970's?
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>> the overall nasa budget is less than half a percent of the overall federal budget at this time. apollo a day it was 5% of the federal budget. nasaat is the priority for over the last couple of years? the orion spacecraft. the essays talked about flying a series of missions between earth and the moon in the 20 20's, and sending humans to mars in the 2030s >> >> tell us about the space council, what that group does, and how it might change of the trump administration? >> the national space council has existed in one form or
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another, since the early days of the space age. during the kennedy vice president lyndon johnson was very active in its activities. it was also active in the administration of resident george h.w. bush, with vice president quayle running the operation. the space council has not been active since the end of the first bush administration, quarter of a century ago. reactivated the space council. it will be chaired by vice president pence. he is interested in being active in space policy. he has talked about having a first meeting of the national space council by the end of the summer. although he has not been more specific about when that might be. they have selected someone who will be the executive secretary, the person that runs the space council on a day-to-day basis. >> what about the actual administration of nasa? who is running it now, and has the administration given any
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hint about a new administrator? under actingnning administrator robert lightfoot, thee the beginning of trumpet administration. he is the acting number one at nasa, at the moment. a have not yet nominated an administrator or deputy administrator. the rumor mill suggests a nomination might be coming soon worried one of the leading candidates is a congressman from oklahoma who has been very active on space issues, during his time in congress. >> what about the development of private space entities, spacex and blue origin? how does their development impact, if at all, the numbers nasa proposes for its budget? private space actors like --ce act, and also boeing, spacex, and also boeing, are
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playing a growing role in the program. andoon as next year, spacex boeing will be transporting astronauts to them from the international space station. on the privates for so-called routine space activities. that we nasa can focus more on next version. you see the nasa program going over the next 10 years? >> i think you will see continuation of the current strategy, of handing over more activities to the private sector, and developing some of the key technologies for going to the moon or mars. exactly when we will go to those places, and how we will go, remains to be determined. but we will see more of a transition by private companies in earth orbit. >> take us back to the budget
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process, for a minute. it has passed the subcommittee in the senate. in congress returns september, they have to get a budget done by the end of the month. where do you think that budget number will land, when it is all said and done? itthe house may ask what calls a combination of several appropriations bills, that would include the appropriations bill that funds nasa. it's unlikely will be concluded by september. it starts on the next fiscal year, in october, on a continuing resolution that might last for a few weeks or a few months, or my last even longer. at the end of the day, in terms of the appropriations project, where october -- whether it's october or december, we will end up with a nasa budget that is closer to 2017. opposed $6 billion, as
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to the $19.1 billion the administration proposed. >> do think nasa has more friends in congress than they used to it, in past years -- then they used to, in past years? >> nasa is not a partisan issue. it has supporters among both republicans and democrats. seen not something that is to the same degree of hyper partisan wrangling, that you see on capitol hill on other issues. it is relatively a minor issue in regards to other issues congress faces. so it is often able to glide through the appropriations and authorization processing congress, much more smoothly than some of these other issues. >> jeff, thanks so much for joining us. earlier this summer, robert lightfoot, who is the acting administrator of nasa, appeared before the senate appropriations subcommittee on science, the one that

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