Kennedy Space Center got a big boost last night when Congress included $895 million in a broader spending package to modernize its launch facilities.
The funding, sought by Florida Senator Bill Nelson, would more than double what the center received last year for systems and facilities needed to launch humans to Mars.
The money was included in a $1.3 trillion spending bill, which funds the government through September 30. The bill must pass Congress by Friday to avert another government shutdown this year.
“This is fantastic news,” said Nelson. “Not only could it create hundreds of jobs at the center but it will also enable us to begin work on a second mobile launch structure. Bottom line, this money will get us down the path to Mars sooner and safer.”
The Exploration Grounds Systems program at KSC provides the launch and processing infrastructure for NASA’s initiative to explore deep space. The program funding is being increased from $429 million in the 2017 Omnibus to $895 million this year. The spending plan Congress released last night increases NASA’s overall budget by over $1 billion compared to last year.