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Mar 24, 2018

Congress is giving NASA more money than it requested to build a second launch platform

<em>The mobile launcher under construction at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.</em>

Today, Trump signed into law a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill that will fund the federal government through the rest of fiscal year 2018, and the deal is quite generous to NASA. Practically all of NASA’s programs get a funding boost, and the space agency even gets money that it didn’t ask for — notably, the funds needed to build a second launch platform for its next big rocket.

The spending bill gives NASA an extra $350 million in 2018 to make the structure, which will be used for future launches of the Space Launch System. That’s the deep space vehicle the agency has been developing for the last decade. A mobile launch platform is key for the SLS since the structure will transport the rocket to its launch site at Kennedy Space...

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