UPDATED 8:34 AM PT – Tuesday, March 29, 2022
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson discussed future space missions at the organization’s annual address. His comments came after the Biden administration granted their request for an increased budget to continue with their operations.
“We’re having this discussion today because President Biden and his administration released this budget request…NASA’s $26 billion fiscal year budget for ’23,” Nelson stated. “It’s a request from the President, from us and it is a significant increase over last year’s budget.”
It’s an investment in small businesses and universities.
It’s supporting research to fight climate change.
And it’s confidence in the NASA workforce. https://t.co/xl7pRDjzBT
— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) March 28, 2022
The NASA administrator also took the time to provide several updates about the James Webb Telescope. According to Nelson, the first batch of images of a new galaxy captured by the telescope will be released to the public in the Summer.
“This summer, we’re going to see the first images I’ve seen and you all have as well, the first Target store,” he stated. “And what we’re going to see in the images that are coming is revealing the stars and the galaxies. That happened to form the first Galaxy 13 and a half billion years ago. Just after the beginning. Think about that.”
Nelson then went on to address their plans to have astronauts return to the surface of the Moon and the establishment of a lunar space station.
“Just last week we announced a plan for more competition to add additional landers to carry astronauts to the lunar surface,” he continued. “We expect to land about once a year for more than a decade. We’re going to put an outpost or something like a station in lunar orbit. It’s going to be in a polar orbit of the Moon and we’re going to call it Gateway. It will provide essential support for our return to the lunar surface, but it will also serve as a staging point for deep space exploration.”
Nelson ended the address with an announcement of a plan to have an astronaut touchdown on the surface of Mars.