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Space News: NASA Gets $756M Budget Increase in FY 2016 Omnibus Bill

BudgetCongress has released an omnibus appropriations bill that would allocate $19.3 billion in funds for NASA for fiscal year 2016, Space News reported Wednesday.

Jeff Foust writes the allocation represents a $756 million increase in funds the space agency requested for its FY 2016 budget.

The omnibus bill also increased by approximately 50 percent to $2 billion the amount the space agency would get for the Space Launch System program, up from NASA’s original budget request of $1.36 billion, Foust reports.

Space News reported that the space agency’s planetary sciences and commercial crew initiatives would respectively receive $1.6 billion and $1.2 billion in funds under the proposed spending legislation.

The allocation for the commercial crew program, which was moved by Congress to the Space Operations budget category, aims to ensure that the crew platforms that SpaceX and Boeing currently develop reach operational phase by 2017, according to a report that accompanied the omnibus bill.

Congress expects that such a measure could end dependence on the use of Russian-built Soyuz space vehicle to carry crews to the International Space Station, the report said.

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