In 2004, NASA unveiled its Vision of Space Exploration, as part of charting a bold new course into the cosmos, a journey that will take humans back to the Moon, and eventually to Mars and beyond. Yet, this year, NASA is blurring the Vision of Space Exploration with the U.S. administration's proposed budget for 2007 that cut NASA's science programs drastically. Even now, before Congress approves the cuts, NASA has eliminated funding for a mission to explore Europa. The U.S. administration is defending the NASA budget, saying that it is growing. But the funds allocated for NASA are more than $1 billion less than those pledged a year ago in order to support the Vision of Space Exploration and the rest of the NASA program. This year, NASA warned that increased shuttle cost estimates would require major cuts to space science and the U.S. administration agreed that funding cuts from space science were required. This is a woefully short-sighted decision. Cutting science is ridiculous for the space science community. It is the part of NASA that is working best, producing the most spectacular results, and leading the way of exploration. This budget could also essentially stop human exploration in its tracks. The commitment to 17 more Shuttle flights could delay the sorely needed new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), dooming us to Earth orbit for at least another two decades. The end result is this budget places the future of the Human Flight program and science in jeopardy. It is literally the "worst of all possible worlds." Recently, the House Subcommittee has approved a budget of $16.7 billion, $100 million less than that requested by the Administration. But, it restored $75 million out of $330 million funding that the Administration had cut from space science plans. The Committee directed $50 million of the science funding to help restore some of the research and analysis cuts. It also restored $100 million of planned cuts in aeronautics. However, to offset the restoration of these funds, additional cuts beyond those proposed by the Administration were made in space exploration program line items. Also, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $16.75 billion budget for NASA and also passed the Mikulski-Hutchison amendment for a $1 billion dollar ?emergency? supplement to pay for shuttle repair and recovery. (The amendment actually specifies $2 billion over two years). The final total not including the supplement was $500 million more than the previous year and very close to the level passed by the House of Representatives. All space perspectives are welcome to be discussed in this thread in relation to NASA and the politics concerning space exploration.