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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's budget request for NASA would give the space agency's science and climate change portfolios a big boost.

Why it matters: The budget still needs to be approved by Congress, but it shows where the new administration's priorities lie.

Catch up quick: If enacted, the budget proposal, announced last week, would be about $1.5 billion more than what the agency received in fiscal year 2021.

  • Planetary science, in particular, gets a large boost, with $3.2 billion proposed, $653 million of which will go toward the development of a sample return mission to Mars.
  • The Nancy Grace Roman Telescope and a number of Earth science missions also receive funding in this proposal, after the Trump administration tried to cancel those programs.
  • Under the budget, NASA would also continue to aim to send people back to the surface of the Moon, with boosts to funding in a number of areas needed to achieve that goal.

The big picture: This budget places NASA within the broader framework of the post-pandemic economic recovery the Biden administration is attempting to spur through job creation and R&D.

  • "This budget request is evidence that NASA’s missions contribute to the administration’s larger goals for America: addressing climate change, promoting equity, and driving economic growth," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

Go deeper

White House urges Congress to pass emergency funding for Afghan resettlement, disaster relief

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday urged Congress to provide $6.4 billion for Afghan allies and partners and $14 billion for relief for natural disasters that took place prior to Hurricane Ida.

State of play: OMB is asking Congress to pass a short-term spending bill to provide more time for the full FY 2022 budget process to continue.

Sanders insists Dems' spending package remain at $3.5 trillion

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, on Wednesday insisted that the Democrats' budget proposal should remain at $3.5 trillion, dismissing calls from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for a lower number.

Driving the news: Manchin has warned the White House and Congress leadership that he has concerns about the proposal and is willing to support as little as $1 trillion of it. His vote is crucial in the 50-50 Senate.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to affirmative action at Harvard, UNC

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the consideration of race in the college admissions processes.

Why it matters: The conservative high court's ruling could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.