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FYI focuses on the programs and missions sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate, including in the Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Heliophysics, and Earth Science Divisions. FYI also covers science-related missions supported by other directorates, including the International Space Station.

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate received a 2% budget increase in fiscal year 2023, a small boost relative to other science agencies, and budgets are under strain across its portfolio.

An independent review has linked the recent one-year delay in the launch of NASA’s Psyche asteroid mission to staff shortages and inadequate communications across Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managing the project.

Over the last several years, Congress has passed multi-pronged policy initiatives and provided billions of dollars in funding to spur the deployment of “advanced” nuclear reactors, and a sprawling array of projects are now in progress.

The latest iteration of the National Academies planetary science decadal survey is the first to undertake detailed examinations of astrobiology, the integration of science with crewed exploration, planetary defense, and the state of the planetary science profession.

The new National Academies decadal survey for planetary science prioritizes completion of the Mars Sample Return mission, new flagship missions to Uranus and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and a slate of candidate concepts for medium-scale missions.

NASA’s science budget is increasing by 4% in fiscal year 2022 and the Biden administration is seeking a 5% increase for fiscal year 2023. The agency’s Earth Science Division would receive a relatively large boost under the proposal, but there would be some pressure on the budgets for the Planetary Science, Astrophysics, and Heliophysics Divisions.

Governments and science organizations around the world are grappling over the extent to which sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine should extend to scientific exchanges.

In the past week, NASA reported it is reworking the architecture of the Mars Sample Return mission it is undertaking with the European Space Agency, pushing its launch date back two years, and ESA announced the ExoMars mission it has been pursuing with Russia will not launch as planned in September in view of the crisis in Ukraine.

The James Webb Space Telescope has successfully reached its orbit following a protracted mission-development process that was plagued by severe cost growth. Lessons learned from that experience have led to reforms in how NASA manages large space science missions.

NASA has chosen Earth scientist Kate Calvin to serve in the dual roles of chief scientist and senior climate advisor, bringing new visibility to the agency’s efforts to monitor and mitigate climate change.