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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.

24 Apr 2020

Starting this month, NASA-funded institutions are required to notify the agency whenever they determine a principal or co-investigator has violated policies concerning harassment or assault, or if the personnel are placed on leave due to a harassment investigation. NASA modeled the policy on one first implemented by the National Science Foundation in 2018.

22 Apr 2020

NASA unveiled an ambitious long-term agenda this month for crewed exploration of the Moon that focuses on demonstrating astronautical capabilities and supports scientific work. In parallel, the agency is moving ahead with a campaign of robotic lunar surface missions that it aims to launch at a rate of about two per year beginning in 2021.

20 Mar 2020

Federal research facilities across the U.S. have been forced to close as government officials escalate their efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

28 Feb 2020

Although the Trump administration is requesting a $2.6 billion increase in NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2021, it is seeking a 12% cut for its Science Mission Directorate and placing the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope and Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy on the chopping block.

25 Feb 2020

A Senate hearing this month explored ways to support “missions of national need” that underpin preparedness efforts for asteroid impacts, space weather, and orbital debris.

20 Feb 2020

Legislative efforts are under way in the House and Senate to advance broad policy legislation for NASA, with potential implications for scientific activities. In the House, lawmakers are seeking to exert particularly strong control over the agency’s plans for the Moon and Mars.

24 Jan 2020

A 3% increase in NASA’s science budget will keep all missions and programs on track, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, which both required substantially larger funding commitments this year.

17 Oct 2019

For the third year in a row, the House and Senate have advanced spending legislation that rejects the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to federal STEM education programs.

10 Oct 2019

In their fiscal year 2020 spending legislation, the House and Senate are both proposing stable funding for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, though the funding level Senate appropriators have proposed for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope could result in a delayed launch. The fates of controversial proposals to conduct a crewed lunar landing in 2024 and to land a probe on Jupiter’s moon Europa remain up in the air.

4 Sep 2019

The National Space Council has asked NASA to further develop its plans for establishing a sustained presence at the Moon. To do so, the agency will have to balance its aims of enabling the exploitation of lunar resources and preparing for an eventual crewed mission to Mars.