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FY 2005 Appropriations for the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
(numbers are in millions)
FY 2005 Request
% change FY04 vs FY 05
% change FY04 vs FY05 House
% change FY04 vs FY05 Senate
|FY05 Final||% Change FY05 vs. FY04|
|Exploration, Science & Aeronautics||7,830||7,760||-1.0%||7,621||-2.7%||
|Office of Space Science||3,971||4,138||4.2%||4,041||1.7%|
|Office of Earth Science||1,613||1,485||-7.9%|
|Aura (2004 launch)||52.2||4.5|
|Earth Science Education (where GLOBE resides)||21.7||23.1||6.4%|
|Biological & Physical Research||985||1,049||6.5%|
|Aviation Safety & Security Program||180||188||4.4%|
|Weather Safety Technologies||45.0||44.3||-1.5%|
|Minority Univ. Research & Education||89.2||90.8||1.8%|
Notes on Omnibus Bill -- November 22, 2004
Congress passed the FY05 Omnibus Bill this past weekend during special session. The numbers in the tables above reflect the final bill numbers, but without an across-the-board cut of .83 percent that will be applied by the agency as required for FY05 by Congress.
Some language of interest in the funding bill for NASA includes the following:
"Where no funding level is specified, NASA is directed to make a final determination of funding level for fiscal year 2005 and is required to notify the Congress under the established operating plan procedures of the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate...
"As part of the proposed exploration vision, NASA will begin to phase-out existing programs in order to accommodate the vision. These plans must be clearly defined in order for NASA to smoothly transition older programs to make way for missions associated with the vision. As part of this process, the conferees direct NASA to include in all future budget justifications the phase-out schedules and any out-year termination dates of its programs.
"The conferees direct the National Academy’s Space Studies Board to conduct a thorough review of the science that NASA is proposing to undertake under the space exploration initiative and to develop a strategy by which all of NASA’s science disciplines, including Earth Science, space science, and life and microgravity science, as well as the science conducted aboard the International Space Station, can make adequate progress towards their established goals, as well as providing balanced scientific research in addition to support of the new initiative. This study should be completed no later than March 15th, 2005.
"The conferees have included substantial funding for the space exploration initiative, but to date there has been no substantive Congressional action endorsing the initiative. The conferees note that the initiative is a very long-term endeavor and will require tens of billions of dollars over the next two decades. As such, the initiative deserves and requires the deliberative benefit of the Congress. To this end, the conferees call upon the appropriate Committees of jurisdiction of the House and Senate for action to specifically endorse the initiative and provide authorization and guidance. NASA is directed to forward a comprehensive package of authorization legislation for consideration by the 109th Congress…
"The conferees agree with the direction in the Senate report that NASA is to include the out-year budget impacts on all operating plan proposals…
"The conferees agree with the Senate direction that NASA shall provide appropriate funds for the completion of the current NAPA [National Academy of Public Administration] review of NASA’s organizational, programmatic, and personnel structures, including funds to review the recently announced NASA organization transformation and the recommendation contained in the Aldridge report for NASA to consider conversion of some NASA centers to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers…
"The conferees agree that from within the funding provided, $291,000,000 is to be used for a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The conferees believe a successful servicing mission to Hubble should be one of NASA’s highest priorities…
"The conferees share the concern of the Senate with regard to the proposed reductions to the Living With a Star [LWS] program and provide $681,100,000 for the program. To meet the original goal of the LWS program, which the Congress has endorsed, the conferees are providing an additional $35,000,000 for the LWS theme in 2005 to be allocated as follows: $5,000,000 for the solar probe mission; $15,000,000 to begin implementation of Geospace and $5,000,000 for preliminary studies of solar sentinels; and $10,000,000 for Solar Terrestrial Probes for continued development of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. Furthermore, the conferees agree with the Senate direction that NASA is to develop a plan to guarantee launch of Geospace and Solar Dynamic Observatory within one year of each other with solar sentinels to follow in a reasonable time thereafter…
"The conferees agree to an increase of $15,000,000 above the President’s request for fiscal year 2005 for the NASA Earth Science Applications Program. This funding increase will be used to support competitively-selected applications projects. These projects will integrate the results of NASA’s earth observing systems and earth system models (using observations and predictions) into decision support tools to serve applications of national priority including, but not limited to, Homeland Security, Coastal management, Agriculture Efficiency, Water Management and Disaster Management…
"The conferees are providing… $12,000,000 through the EOSDIS Maintenance and Development Contract to support an extension of the Synergy Data Pools to improve data distribution to climate change models, expansion of data distribution to the user community and development of a pilot project using grid computing technology...
"The conferees agree that the space shuttle remains the cornerstone of our Nation’s heavy launch capability and is critical to the future of the International Space Station and scientific research…. The conferees believe that returning the shuttle fleet to flight, the first step in the Space Exploration Initiative, should be NASA’s highest priority…
" The conferees agree with the direction contained in the Senate report that as soon as the Shuttle is available to provide access to the ISS, NASA is to provide the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate with a plan detailing the steps necessary to complete construction of the ISS…
"As NASA begins to consider another manned vehicle program, the conferees do not want a repeat of the mistakes of the International Space Station, where poor management and lack of independent oversight resulted in major cost overruns… Therefore, the conferees direct the Administrator of NASA to identify an independent oversight committee capable of examining the design, technology readiness, and most importantly, the cost estimates for the CEV [Crew Exploration Vehicle]. The Administrator shall use available funds within the Exploration Capabilities account to provide sufficient resources for this independent committee. The chosen oversight committee shall report to the Administrator and the Committees on Appropriation of the House and Senate annually on their findings and recommendations."
NOTES on the Senate Markup (9/22/04):
Yesterday, the full Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and reported out its version of an FY 2005 VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act. For NASA, the Committee provided $16.4 billion, with an $800 million increase in "emergency spending" -- $300 is directed toward the Hubble servicing mission and $500 million directed to the Space Shuttle program.
The Committee, while supporting the President's new vision for NASA (to return man to the Moon and eventually to Mars), is concerned that the exploration missions might be prioritized above the science program. "The Committee is also concerned that NASA will neglect areas that will only tangentially benefit from, or that do not fit within, the proposed vision. Within the fiscal year 2005 budget request, programs and infrastructure are proposed to be deferred, or cancelled, in such areas. These programs appear to be the sacrifices for the near-term budgetary resources needed to facilitate the implementation of the new Moon/Mars vision.
"The new national space policy to proceed with human and robotic exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond has profound implications for all of the science conducted by NASA. While the Committee applauds those goals, it is concerned that the strong, balanced science program that has served the Nation so successfully for many years should be nurtured and sustained as the new policy is implemented. That science program has been based on a set of carefully crafted scientific strategies that are founded on scientific and technical merit, relevance to overall national needs, and broad consultation with the scientific community via the National Academy of Sciences. Consequently, the Committee directs the National Academies' Space Studies Board to conduct a thorough review of the science that NASA is proposing to undertake under the new policy and to develop a strategy by which all of NASA's science disciplines, including Earth science, space science, and life and microgravity science, can make adequate progress towards their established goals, as well as providing scientific research in support of the new policy" (this language clearly in response to the Aldridge Commission's recommendation that NASA consider moving other science programs to other agencies or organizations).
While no numbers are called out for the Offices of Space and Earth Science, the Committee did comment on particular programs with them. Within Space Science: "The Committee is troubled by the proposed reductions to the Living With a Star [LWS] program. The Committee is also concerned about the growth of the Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO] particularly under full cost accounting guidelines and is capping the mission at $646,100,000, included in the budget request. To meet the original goals of the LWS program, which this Committee has endorsed, the Committee is providing an additional $25,000,000 for the LWS theme in 2005 to be allocated as follows: $5,000,000 for the solar probe mission; $15,000,000 to begin implementation of Geospace and $5,000,000 for preliminary studies of solar sentinels. Furthermore, the Committee directs NASA to develop a plan to guarantee launch of Geospace and SDO within 1 year of each other with solar sentinels to follow in a reasonable time thereafter.
"The Committee directs NASA to select competitively some of the scientific instruments for the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission. The Committee allocates $15,000,000 of the $52,900,000 contained in the budget request to establish a competitive advanced technology development program among universities and non-profit organizations with experience in relevant fields to provide scientific instruments for the TPF mission. The TPF budget profile beyond 2005 should articulate a critical path-with requisite financial resources-to down select from these teams, as well as any currently existing intramural teams, for flight instruments."
Within Earth Science: "The Committee believes that Earth science has been a critical part of a balanced space program long advocated by this Committee. The Committee remains fully committed to a robust Earth science program at NASA notwithstanding the recent headquarters reorganization plan. The Committee expects NASA to remain fully committed to Earth science, with future missions identified with 5 year funding profiles that reflect a serious commitment to Earth science as a vital part of the Nation's space program."
When or if the Senate will be able to consider this legislation on the Senate floor prior to adjourning for elections is not clear.
NOTES on the House Markup (7/20/04):
The House VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee completed work on their FY 2005 bill that includes funding for NASA. The full Committee is expected to approve it before Congress breaks for its August recess on Friday, July 23.
The subcommittee cuts NASA 1.5 percent over FY 2004, and 6.7 percent ($1 billion) from the President's request. The bulk of these savings come from the elimination of funding for new initiatives. The subcommittee fully funds the Mars program at the requested level, $691 million (within the Office of Space Science).
NOTES on President's FY 2005 Budget Request (2/2/04):
The FY 2005 NASA budget request comes on the heels of President Bush's January 14th speech outlining his vision for man's return to the moon and potentially Mars and beyond. With the recent successful landings of the Mars rovers and in a federal budget in which many agencies received cuts or modest increases, NASA is a clear winner, with a proposed 5.6 percent increase ($866 million), bringing the total funding level to $16.244 billion.
For the third year in a row, the Administration proposes reorganizing the NASA
budget, this time reconsolidating the three funding accounts - the Exploration,
Science, and Aeronautics account (ESA), which includes almost all the science
and academic programs; the new Exploration Capabilities (EC) account, which
includes the Space Flight support, propulsion technology development as well
as some cross-cutting technology programs; and the Inspector General account.
The reorganization transfers some enabling propulsion technology programs from
the science accounts to the new EC account, including Project Prometheus.
Exploration, Science, and Aeronautics
Office of Space Science: Within the ESA account, the Office of Space Science would receive $4.138 billion, an increase of $97 million (or 2.4 percent) over the FY 2004 request of $3.971 billion. This funding level includes $691 million (up 16 percent) to continue the Mars Exploration program, which is expected to double by 2009, $1.187 billion for the Solar System Exploration program, $1.067 billion for the Astronomical Search for Origins program, and $746 million to continue the Sun-Earth Connections program.
The Solar System Exploration program includes $116 million for the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, as well as $94 million to fund the Dawn mission to two asteroids and the Deep Impact mission to probe below the surface of a comet.
The Astronomical Search for Origins program includes double the FY 2003 funding for the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) at $155 million and a 26 percent increase, or $318 million, for the James Webb Space Telescope, which is the successor to the heavily utilized Hubble Space Telescope. Recently, Administrator O'Keefe announced that another servicing mission for Hubble to extend its lifespan would be too risky, though it now appears the decision is being revisited.
In addition, the Sun-Earth Connections program includes a doubling ($158 million) of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, a large part of the Living With a Star program which would receive $47 million for future flight missions.
Office of Earth Science: The Office of Earth Science is also funded within the ESA account. The budget request would provide the Office of Earth Science $1.485 billion, a decrease of $128 million (or 7.9 percent) from the FY 2004 budget request. NASA states that this reduction is a function of several Earth science satellite missions moving from development into operations as well as a lack of earmarks present in the FY 2004 budget.
Within the Office of Earth Science is a second year initiative known as the Climate Change Research Initiative. The request for FY 2005 calls for $54 million to contribute to the interagency Climate Change Science Program. The budget also includes $560 million (or a 7 percent increase) for research in Earth System Science.
Office of Biological & Physical Research: The budget request would provide $1.049 billion for the Office of Biological and Physical Research, an increase of $64 million (or 6.5 percent) over the FY 2004 request. The increase is entirely directed toward Biological Sciences Research, which would receive $492 million ($124 million increase) in the new budget, while Physical Sciences Research would receive a $57 million cut and Research Partnerships & Flight Support would be cut by $2 million. Within this last program, the Regional Partnership Centers would only receive $8.7 million (a reduction of $5.6 million), continuing the trend in NASA of reducing the number of centers available for this program.
Aeronautics Enterprise: The Aeronautics Enterprise would receive $919 million in the budget request. This level is $115 million (or 11.1 percent) below FY 2004 funding. Projects funded in FY 2005 include: $188 million for Aviation Safety and Security, $209 million for emission reductions, $72 million to reduce the noise by aircraft, and $133 million for flight and systems demonstration on enabling technologies, among others.
Education Enterprise: The Education Enterprise would receive $168.5 million in the budget request. This level is $57 million (or 25.2 percent) below the FY 2004 amount. Most of this difference is due to large amounts of Congressional projects funded in this account in the FY 2004 process. The new level would also provide $10 million for the recently created Science and Technology Scholarship program to facilitate new careers in NASA and $91 million for minority university (HBCU, HSI, etc.) research and education.
Exploration Systems: The new NASA Exploration Systems, formerly known as Crosscutting Technologies, corresponds to the Administration's new vision of solar system (including the Moon and Mars) exploration. In the budget request, this theme would receive a $137 million increase (or 8.3 percent). This funding is split between two themes: Human & Robotic Technology and Transportation Systems.
Human & Robotic Technology would receive a large increase ($415 million), to fund the Innovative Technology Transfer Partnerships ($161 million) and Project Prometheus. Project Prometheus is an expansion of the nuclear propulsion and nuclear power program initiated in FY 2003. It includes $438 million for the continued development of nuclear power and nuclear propulsion systems, excluding in-space propulsion and JIMO specific portions which were left in the Office of Space Science.
Transportation Systems, on the other hand, would receive $689 million (a decrease of $278 million). This theme would fund the new Project Constellation at $428 million to develop a crew exploration vehicle by 2014 for return to the moon. NASA would discontinue development of the Orbital Space Plane and the Next Generational Launch System to defray some of the costs of the new vehicle (expected to be roughly $6.6 billion over five years).
Space Flight: Lastly, the budget request would fund Space Flight in FY 2005 at $6.674 billion, or $800 million (12 percent) more than FY 04. This level would provide necessary funding for space shuttle operations ($4.3 billion for a 9 percent increase), scheduled to begin again in the fall of 2004, the International Space Station ($1.9 billion for a 24 percent increase), and Space Communications ($196 million for a 57 percent increase). Some concerns are still present over how the Space Shuttle will be properly phased out and whether or not NASA has properly budgeted for the overlap of the Shuttle and the new Crew Exploration Vehicle.