NASA Research & Communications Status Quo (So Far) Under New POTUS

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On January 24, 2017, Michael Freilich, the director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Science Division, stated at a town hall meeting that there had not yet been any changes in programs or policies made by the new presidential administration. Although he could not state what would occur after April 2017 (through which NASA’s plans and budgets are fixed), he stated that the NASA Earth Science Division and the NASA Science Mission Directorate “have not been given any direction to change either what we are doing, how we are doing it or how we are talking about it, as of right now.” In fact, he encouraged scientists in Earth Science to communicate about their research as it affects the lives of people more immediately than some of the other sectors within NASA.

The prior presidential budget request for NASA in FY 2017 amounted to a total of $18,010,200,000 of which the Earth Science Division had allocated $1,784,100,000. The details of this proposal can be obtained from NASA’s website as well as the budgets for prior fiscal years. Of course, NASA also issued its FY 2016 report last November.