Senate Subcommittee Approves Cut in NASA’s Budget


The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies today approved a $53.4 billion spending bill that includes a decrease in NASA’s budget.

The $19.5 billion budget for the space agency is $124 million below the FY2017 enacted level and $437 million above the amount requested by the Trump Administration. Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee approved $19.88 billion for NASA.

The Senate spending measure includes:

  • $2.15 billion for the Space Launch System (SLS), which is $212 million above the request.  The funding continues the development schedule for SLS, and provides $300 million in critical funding for upper stage engine work for future crewed missions.
  • $1.3 billion for the Orion crewed spacecraft, $164 million above the request, to continue development of NASA’s next deep-space crewed capsule.
  • $5.6 billion for Science, $193 million below the FY2017 enacted level and $140 million below the request.
  • $732 million, the same as the request, to further develop a domestic crew launch capability.
  • $700 million for Space Technology, $14 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $21 million above the request.  Funding is included to advance projects in early stages of development that are expected to eventually demonstrate capabilities needed for future space exploration.
  • $100 million is provided for the Education programs proposed to be eliminated in the budget request.  NASA EPSCoR is funded at $18 million, Space Grant is funded at $40 million, the Minority University Research and Education Project is funded at $32 million, and STEM Education and Accountability projects is funded at $10 million.

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  • mlc449

    Them potholes won’t fix themselves, amirite?

  • windbourne

    the GOP is just plain weird.
    O had massive NASA tax increases, but the GOP House attempted to gut it horribly, while the senate took the middle.
    Now, T in his infinite wisdom is attempting to gut NASA, while the house is looking to increase it over last years, with most of it going to the SLS/orion money pit.

  • windbourne

    it would be a waste if he did that.
    Our gas/diesel taxes are some of the lowest in the world.
    We need to increase them by .01/gal/month for the next 24-48 months.
    And then give the gas tax to the state and require that both state and feds invest ONLY into infrastructure with that. And yes, that includes potholes.

  • Paul451

    When you mandate things like that, legislators simply remove the equivalent funding from the existing sources; creating the equivalent of simply putting the earmarked funds into the general revenue pool, with no net increase of funding for the intended activity.

    The only way to ensure additional funds are used as you desire is to essentially take over the entire funding pool for that class of spending. Or to explicitly name new projects that would otherwise receive no funding. Which is why you get federally funded “bridges to nowhere” in states that don’t spend enough on existing infrastructure, it’s the only way of guaranteeing spending goes where directed.

  • Paul451

    And the Senate again simply splits the difference.

  • This is too bad for NASA, they can barely get by on what little they get now. When Programs are tied to the budget & they are not performing-this makes good sense & on the Contrary why wasn’t the DOD & Lockeed’s JSF, F-35 not get the same fair treatment?