The proposed budget cuts could severely hurt NASA research

Members of the U.S. Congress, aviation industry officials and scientific leaders have warned that budget cuts in aeronautics and space research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration could harm the U.S. space industry. The cuts would limit the ability of NASA to research and create new technology that would be used for a number of future projects. NASA is already having problems paying for space shuttle repairs and for possible missions to the moon and Mars. The cuts could also impact a new air traffic system that is designed to reduce the amount of gridlock in U.S. airways.

The Next Generation Air Traffic System, a program aimed at replacing aging radars with satellite-based technology, is about to have its budget cut $54 million – NASA is the main agency doing research for the project. Government estimates claim that airlines may face more flight delays if the system is not updated. NASA has claimed that it still has the funds required to update the air traffic system.

NASA has already undergone budget cuts that have taken millions of dollars from the space agency over the past 10 years. Next year, the space agency faces a further 20% cut in aviation research.

Since launching shuttle Atlantis and shuttle Discovery earlier this year, NASA has had what many viewers consider a successful year. While European aviation research continues to increase, U.S. funding is continuing to slide.

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