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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

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 1, 2021 - Science

The scientific hunt for life isn't about UFOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Proof of alien life is likely to come from decades of incremental scientific discoveries, not a blurry video of a UFO speeding through the atmosphere.

The big picture: Instead of a fringe science, the search for life today has become integral to NASA's mission.

Updated 21 mins ago - Science

NTSB probes crash that killed 10 in Alabama as storms lash Southeast

A car drives in the rain in Galveston, Texas. Photo: Zeng Jingning/China News Service via Getty Images

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday that it's investigating a fiery multi-vehicle weekend crash in Alabama that killed 10 people, including nine children, as storms swept the Southeast.

The big picture: Saturday's crash on Interstate 65, south of Montgomery, occurred amid a tropical depression that left 13 people dead in Alabama as it triggered flash floods and spawned tornadoes that razed "dozens of homes," per AP.

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.