White House lists space among R&D priorities

Peregrine lander
By 2021, Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander should be ready to go to the lunar surface. Space exploration and commercialization are listed as priorities for federally backed R&D. (Astrobotic Illustration)

Congress hasn’t yet approved a federal budget for the fiscal year that starts next month, but the White House is already setting an agenda for research and development in 2021.

Hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, nuclear energy research and missions to the moon are among the priorities listed in a memo sent out to federal agencies last week by White House science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier and acting budget director Russell Vought.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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