The space is central to the "national security and defense of the United States", president Donald Trump said a year ago, and it is "the next domain of war".
The White House on Monday asked Congress for $25.2 billion for NASA in 2021, the agency's biggest budget in decades, calling for steady increases over five years to meet President Donald Trump's goal of landing astronauts on the moon and Mars.
"This is a 21-century budget worthy of 21st-century space exploration and one of the strongest NASA budgets in history", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a State of NASA event unveiling the budget.
"If the president's support for NASA wasn't clear before, it sure is now", Bridenstine said.
"Now we must deliver, it us up to us to deliver", Bridentstine said.
The request would boost the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's budget by 12 percent for the fiscal year that starts October 1, with almost half of the funds going toward the "Moon to Mars" program, which includes development of lunar landers, robotic rovers, heavy-lift rockets and new spacesuits. And as a number of people observed, none has been built since the Apollo program.
As NASA eyes missions to Mars and the moon in the near future, the nation will be watching the Mississippi Coast when engines on the backbone of the world's most powerful rocket fire later this year.
It additionally provides $four billion for continued improvement of the House Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft, which mixed shall be used to supply transportation of astronauts from Earth to the Moon. President Donald Trump said past year that space is "the key to national security and American resistance" and that it is a "war zone".
The Orion crew capsule is one several payloads that NASA expects SLS to carry into space in the coming years.
Before humans make it to Mars, NASA plans to send more rovers. The 2021 budget request includes $529 million for robotic Mars exploration, including the Mars 2020 rover mission.
A more advanced Lunar Roving Vehicle to be produced for the Artemis program is planned to be a vehicle that people can use, without pressure (open cabin) and equipped with the latest technology communication equipment.
President Trump's budget request calls for the elimination of several Earth science and science education programs. Proposals to cut all the above missions have been rejected by Congress before. The Artemis Program will be a progression of endeavors in three stages.
Despite the positive support for NASA's push to return humans to the Moon, the budget also proposes several controversial cuts. "The budget continues to support educational activities such as internships and scholarships financed outside the STEM commitment office", the document says.