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Congress may allow NASA to launch Europa Clipper on a Falcon Heavy

Enlarge / A full-scale prototype of the high-gain antenna on NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft. (credit: NASA)

The US House of Representatives released its proposed fiscal year 2021 budget for NASA on Tuesday, funding the agency at $22.63 billion. This is the same amount of funding that was enacted for NASA’s budget this year.

This is just the beginning of the budget process, of course. The White House released its budget request back in February, and now the House and Senate will establish their priorities. Months of negotiations will ensue, compounded by the COVID-19 crisis and the 2020 presidential election. After the fiscal year 2020 budget ends in October, a continuing resolution is likely. The 2021 budget seems unlikely to be resolved before December.

Still, the new document does tell us where Democrats and Republicans in the House think NASA funding should go. And there are a few important clues within worth discussing.

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