New Delhi, Feb 13: Donald Trump administration has announced next year’s budget estimate for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which focuses on the return of Americans to the Moon with a goal to send humans to Mars.

The proposed $19.9 billion budget — $10.5 billion — is earmarked for “an innovative and sustainable campaign of exploration and lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilisation followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.

 NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said that we are once again on a path to return to the moon with an eye toward Mars. This time we are leveraging the multiple partners both here at home and internationally in developing a sustainable approach where the moon is simply one step on our truly ambitious long-term journey to reach out farther into the solar system to reap the economic, societal, and expanding knowledge benefits such an endeavor will bring.

It would eliminate a number of science missions as well as end federal funding for the International Space Station after 2024, the year funding for the space station is already scheduled to stop. For fiscal year 2017, NASA’s budget for the space station was $1.45 billion.

While NASA will move forward with plans to create a new space station around the Moon — the Lunar Orbit Platform-Gateway – the budget confirmed earlier reports indicating plans to end funding for the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025.

Mr Lightfoot said that the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft are critical backbone elements for moving farther into deep space.

“Their momentum continues this year toward the first integrated launch of the system in fiscal year 2020 around the Moon and a mission with crew in 2023,” Mr Lightfoot said.

What is NASA?

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA was started in 1958 as a part of the United States government. NASA is in charge of U.S. science and technology that has to do with airplanes or space. NASA does a lot of different things. NASA makes satellites. The satellites help scientists learn more about Earth. NASA sends probes out into space. NASA scientists study things in the solar system, and even farther away. A new program will send humans to explore asteroids, Mars and beyond. NASA Headquarters is in Washington, D.C. There are 10 NASA centers located across the United States.