It’s not really a surprise by now, but it’s still saddening to see.
It’s good news for space exploration.
After months of delays and years of underfunding, the US Congress finally revealed its plans for funding the federal government in 2016.
A report issued by a committee at MIT concludes that the decline in science funding will have drastic consequences for the country’s economy and security, making the US trail behind other countries like China which is spending immense amounts of money on science. In fact, one study estimates China will become the world’s leading science and innovation producer by 2020, outpacing the US. The MIT report identifies some 15 fields where inadequate budgets seriously hampers progress, from Alzheimer’s research, to nuclear fusion, to disease and agriculture.
This is a chart of NASA’s budget throughout the year, as percentage of the US budget. Now imagine NASA funding stabilized at 60s levels. Where would we be now?