[P]lanetary exploration has gotten creamed. Its budget overall drops from $1.5 billion to $1.2, a very deep cut that doesn’t just threaten but destroys near-future Mars exploration as well as future big grand missions to the outer planets in the tradition of Voyager, Cassini, and others. ... For the cost of less than a single day on the War on Terror, we could have a robust and far-reaching program to explore Mars, look for signs of life on another planet, increase our overall science knowledge, and inspire a future generation of kids.On a more positive note, the President proposed adequate funding, over $800 million or about two days in Iraq and Afghanistan, to jump start America's nascent Newspace capabilities. The idea being companies like SpaceX will be able to provide launch services for U.S. astronauts much sooner than the proposed Space Launch System and for millions less than our only other viable option right now: Russian rockets.
Sadly, in the past, the GOP dominated House has pared down WH proposals for the latter for two reasons: One, anything Obama proposes is bad, even if it used to be a heartfelt conservative idea. Second, mostly conservative lawmakers representing traditional aerospace and related constituencies in Huntsville, Houston, and Florida's spacecoast, prefer funding Big Gubmint programs relying on aerospace defense companies paid under that good old-fashioned, sweet, cost-plus arrangement.