Congressional Budget Gives NASA $19.6 Billion

NASA would receive $19.653 billion for fiscal year 2017 under an Omnibus spending bill released on Monday by Congressional appropriators, an increase of more than $600 million requested by the Obama Administration. NASA received just under $19.3 billion in FY 2016.

The bill was released seven months into the 2017 fiscal year. The government has been operating on continuing resolutions since the year began last Oct. 1.

The budget highlights include:

  • $4.3 billion for the Space Launch System (SLS), Orion spacecraft and related programs, an increase of $300 million over FY 2016;
  • $2.15 billion for SLS and $1.35 billion for Orion, both increases over FY 2016 and the Obama Administration’s requests;
  • $300 million set aside for Exploration Upper Stage development under the SLS budget;
  • up to $1.18 billion for the Commercial Crew Program, the same amount requested;
  • $4.95 billion for Space Operations including the International Space Station, a slight reduction from the nearly $5.1 billion request;
  • $5.76 billion for Science, an increase of $175.5 million over the $5.6 billion requested;
  • $1.9 billion for Earth Science, the same amount as in as FY 2016 and a modest reduction of $110 million from the $2 billion requested;
  • $275 million for the Europa mission, with a requirement it be launched on the SLS;
  • $686.5 million for Technology, the same level as FY 2016 but a reduction of $140.2 million below the $826.7 million requested;
  • $130 million under the Technology budget for RESTORE-L, a mission focused on satellite servicing;
  • $100 million for Education, the same as requested and $15 million below FY 2016;
  • $660 million for Aeronautics, an increase of $20 million over FY 2016 but $130.4 million under the request.

Congressional appropriators rejected the Trump Administration’s proposal to close NASA’s education office in favor of programs spread across the agency. The $100 education budget continues three programs: Space Grant ($40 million), the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology ($18 million), and the Minority University Research and Education Project ($32 million).

The spending measure keeps in place “a prohibition on NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy engaging in bilateral activities with China unless authorized or certified via procedures established in the bill,” according to a Congressional summary.

“NASA is also provided $109 million in emergency funding to repair NASA facilities damaged by recent hurricanes and tornados,[sic]” the summary states. “This is in addition to $75 million provided in December 2016 for hurricane-related repairs.”

During the past year, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida suffered damage from a hurricane and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans was struck by a tornado.

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  • therealdmt

    The 2018 budget will be the one to watch. Or rather, that’s the first chance for Trump to really make his mark NASA direction-wise. Of course, the path of least resistance (let congress allocate largely as it sees fit) is always possible too, but even that would be informative. It might have taken Obama longer than the second budget to get down to big changes (cancel Constellation, start commercial crew) for NASA though?

    Interesting how the Republican congress kept some of Trump’s targeted programs in place.

    Meanwhile, the SLS/Orion/Ground Systems gravy train keeps on rollin’ along…

  • Kapitalist

    I hope the first SLS+Orion explodes on the launchpad and destroys it. That is the cheapest realistic expectation for ending this savage sabotage against human space flight. (Maybe the suggestion to make the first launch crewed was made with the purpose of stopping it from ever flying a first time?)

    SpaceX today offers to launch 2,000 astronauts to LEO for the same cost as developing the SLS/Orion which nominally will be able to launch 7 astronauts to LEO per year. We are dealing with several orders of magnitude difference in efficiency here.

  • windbourne

    I found it interesting that the GOP kept trying to gut NASA under O, but now is fine with growing it.

  • windbourne

    Is NASA able to pull money out of some of these programs and apply it adding 2 habitats to iss? We really need that.
    Also, if ESA is going to partner with China to go to the moon, then it is time to limit construction on the habitat to American builders. No sense funding them. They can count on China to partner with.them , teach them more about hsf, as well as have China spend their money having Europe build out parts for them.

  • JamesG

    !?

  • ThomasLMatula

    It is amazing how President Trump’s critics are ignoring the INSPIRE Act he signed into law of NASA education a couple of months ago. Under it NASA is required to provide a plan on developing an agency wide mentoring program for STEM for women. Experience in corporate America has shown such mentoring programs are very effective in increasing career opportunities for minorities and women.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/321/text

    SEC. 4. <> PLAN.

    Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Science,

    [[Page 131 STAT. 14]]

    Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a plan for how NASA can best facilitate and support both current and retired astronauts, scientists, engineers, and innovators, including early career female astronauts, scientists, engineers, and innovators, to engage with K-12 female STEM students and inspire the next generation of women to consider participating in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to pursue careers in aerospace. This plan shall–

    (1) report on existing activities with current and retired
    NASA astronauts, scientists, engineers, and innovators;
    (2) identify how NASA could best leverage existing
    authorities to facilitate and support current and retired
    astronaut, scientist, engineer, and innovator participation in
    NASA outreach efforts;
    (3) propose and describe a program specific to retired
    astronauts, scientists, engineers, and innovators; and
    (4) identify any additional authorities necessary to
    institute such a program.

    Approved February 28, 2017.

  • Kapitalist

    But who is a woman? Should the TSA agents try to figure it out by fiddling everyone? Oh, that doesn’t seem to help much when the PC society is mentally paralyzed by political correctness so that no one CAN think or act:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK7P0Gb1daE

  • windbourne

    it was the house GOP that kept cutting NASA budget. O always pushed for more, while the senate ended up splitting it in the middle.

  • voronwae

    Anyone know whether NTR funding continued?