- Parabolic Arc
- June 2, 2023
NASA Receives Significant Funding Increase with $21.5 Billion Budget
by Douglas Messier
NASA has received a $21.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2019, which is $736.86 million above FY 2018 and $1.6 billion above the total requested by the Trump Administration.
The funding, which came more than four months into the fiscal year, was included in an appropriations bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday. NASA’s budget has been on an upward trajectory over the last few years. In FY 2018, the space agency received an $1.64 billion increase over the previous year.
The table below shows the FY 2018 and 2019 budgets. I have filled in as much information as I could find; if anyone has more information, please include it in the comments below.
|NASA FY 2018 & 2019 BUDGETS
(In Thousands of Dollars)
|PROGRAM||FY 2018||FY 2019||DIFFERENCE|
|Space Launch System||2,150,000||2,150,000||0|
|— Exploration Upper Stage||300,000||150,000||(150,000)|
|— Lunar Orbital Platform||?||450,000||?|
|— Habitation, Docking Airlock & Logistics||?||176,2000||?|
|— Human Research||?||145,000||?|
|— Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities||?||116,500||?|
|Exploration Ground Systems||545,000||592,800||47,800|
|— Second Mobile Launch Platform||350,000||48,000||(302,000)|
|— Commercial ISS and Low Earth Orbit Activities||?||40,000||?|
|— Test Facilities||?||60,000||?|
|–Jupiter Europa Orbiter & Lander||595,000||740,000||145,000|
|— Lunar Discovery and Exploration||?||218,000||?|
|–Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)||?||97,000||?|
|— Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam)||35,000||35,000||0|
|— Space Weather Science Applications Project||?||15,000||?|
|–Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)||150,000||312,200||162,200|
|— Hubble Space Telescope||98,300||98,200||(100)|
|James Webb Space Telescope||533,700||304,600||(229,100)|
|— Nuclear Thermal Propulsion||75,000||100,000||25,000|
|— Solar Electric Propulsion||?||48,100||?|
|— Additive Manufacturing||25,000||35,000||10,000|
|— Flight Opportunities Program||20,000||20,000||0|
|— Nano-materials Research||5,000||5,000||0|
|— Regional Economic Development||?||5,000||?|
|— Small Satellite Constellations High-speed Downlink & Crosslink Communications||?||2,000||?|
|— Hypersonic Research||?||35,000||?|
|STEM Engagement (Previously Education)||100,000||110,000||10,000|
|— National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program||40,000||44,000||4,000|
|— Minority University Research and Education Program||32,000||33,000||1,000|
|— Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research||18,000||21,000||3,000|
|— Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitors Center||?||5,000||?|
|Safety, Security and Mission Services||2,826,900||2,755,000||(71,900)|
|Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration||562,240||348,200||(214,040)|
|Office of Inspector General||39,000||39,300||300|
FY 2019: $5,050,800,000
FY 2018: $4,790,000
Funding for the Space Launch System and the Orion capsule remain the same as last year, with a total of $3.5 billion to be spent. The Exploration Ground Systems program that will support the SLS/Orion missions brings the total to just under $4.1 billion.
Congress has stipulated that SLS will have a lift capability not less than 130 metric tons. NASA must also develop the SLS core elements and the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) simultaneously.
The legislation also stipulates EUS and the second mobile launch platform must be ready for flight no later than 2024.
NASA will submit a five-year budget profile to Congress for an integrated system that includes SLS, Orion and EGS that will ensure the Exploration Mission-2 mission will occur as early as possible. It will be the first crewed launch of the system.
The Exploration R&D program gets the biggest boost with a $563 million increase as NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the moon. The major programs under this category include:
- $450 million for the Lunar Gateway;
- $176.2 million for habitation, airlock for docking vehicles and other logistics activities;
- $145 million for the Human Research Program; and,
- $116.5 million for Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities.
Congress has stipulated that NASA must submit a multi-year plan to Congress before it can spend more than 50 percent of the funding allocated for the following programs: Lunar Orbital Platform; Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities; Commercial LEO Development; and Lunar Discovery and Exploration, excluding the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
FY 2019: $4,639,100,000
FY 2018: $4,751,500,000
Space Operations, which funds the International Space Station (ISS), saw a $112.4 million decline in its budget this year. The funding measure includes $40 million for the development of future commercial use of the space station.
FY 2019: $6,905,700,000
FY 2018: $6,221,500,000
The Science budget got a boost of $684.2 million this year. The two biggest winners were Planetary Science and Astrophysics while funding for Earth Science stayed essentially flat:
- Planetary Science: $2.76 billion (+$530.6 million)
- Earth Science: $1.93 billion (+$10 million)
- Astrophysics: $1.19 billion (+341.2 million)
- James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): $304.6 million ( -$229,1 million)
- Heliophysics: $720 million (+31.5 million)
Appropriators raised the funding cap on the James Webb Space Telescope to $8.8 billion, which is an increase of $802.7 million above the previous limit. They were also scathing in their comments about NASA and prime contractor Northrop Grumman.
“There is profound disappointment with both NASA and its contractors regarding mismanagement, complete lack of careful oversight, and overall poor basic workmanship on JWST, which has undergone two significant reviews because of failures on the part of NASA and its commercial sector partner,” the appropriators said.
“NASA and its commercial partners seem to believe that congressional funding for this project and other development efforts is an entitlement, unaffected by failures to stay on schedule or within budget,” they added. “This attitude ignores the opportunity cost to other NASA activities that must be sacrificed or delayed.”
Appropriators boosted spending for a pair of missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa by $145 million to $740 million. The Europa orbiter, set to launch in 2023, received $545 million; the lander mission, which will launch two years later, received $195 million.
NASA will be required to use the SLS heavy-lift booster for the Jupiter Europa missions. The rocket has been primarily built to launch the Orion crew spacecraft on missions to the vicinity of the moon.
Lunar Discovery and Exploration will receive $218 million this year, which includes $21 million for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Appropriators also boosted funding for lunar activities under the Exploration R&D budget.
The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), which the Trump Administration had tried to cancel, will receive $312.2 million this year. The funding is more than double the amount WFIRST received in FY 2018. The program has a budget cap of $3.2 billion.
Appropriators have provided $15 million for the Space Weather Science Applications Project. The project is being done in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which received $27 million in its budget for it.
“NOAA shall continue development and construction of two compact coronagraphs,” appropriators wrote. “Further, NOAA shall begin preparations to integrate a compact coronagraph on Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U and coordinate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to launch a compact coronagraph as a ride-share with the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Program mission to ensure continuation of Federal space weather sentinel and forecasting capabilities.”
Other programs funded under the Science budget include:
- $98.3 million for Hubble Space Telescope operations;
- $97 million for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test;
- $35 million for the Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam); and,
- $45 million for Education and Public Outreach activities.
FY 2019: $926,900,000
FY 2018: $760,000,000
The Space Technology budget received a healthy $166.9 million increase for FY 2019.
Appropriators approved $180 million for the RESTORE-L satellite servicing mission. The spacecraft is scheduled to refuel the Landsat 7 remote sensing satellite in orbit next year.
Appropriators also provided $100 million for nuclear thermal propulsion development. They stipulated that $70 million of the amount must be used for the design of a flight demonstration mission by 2024. NASA must submit a multi-year plan to Congress for the mission within 180 days.
Other projects funded under the Space Technology budget include:
- $48,1 million for solar electric propulsion activities;
- $35 million for additive manufacturing R&D;
- $20 million for the Flight Opportunities Program;
- $5 million for NASA’s regional economic development program;
- $5 million for the innovative use of nan-omaterials ; and,
- $2 million to address challenges with high-speed crosslink and downlink communications for LEO small satellite constellations.
68 responses to “NASA Receives Significant Funding Increase with $21.5 Billion Budget”
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Open to ideas which parts of SLS and JWST should be funded with the increase ! Industry recommendations welcome
Hopefully this will help to undo the damage the Obama Administration did to planetary science.
You mean save it from being eaten by Bush’s constellation program?
No, the cuts to the Planetary Program that Bill Nye in this open letter to President Obama begged him to reconsider. The letter that President Obama ignored because he already had his NASA photo-op years before in which he killed Project Constellation and proposed the heavy lift now known as the SLS…
It was a tactic he came up with to deal with Congress. The House kept zeroing the budget for commercial crew because of certain members of the House appropriations committee. The Senate wasn’t quite as hostile. So after a couple of years, Obama started reducing the Planetary Science budget in each proposal; since PS was protected by the same House members, they predictably “negotiated” one program for the other.
He seems to have started out his Presidency assuming members would negotiate in good faith. In his second term he was much more cynical. This tactic was used in his second term. And it worked every year. You’ll recall that the first two years of commercial crew, the House zeroed it each time, the Senate funded it, and the compromise was in partial funding, delaying the program. By his second term, Obama was getting full funding.
Man I miss having a smart cookie for a president.
Really? Do you have any evidence to support that speculation?
Budget figures, proposals, House vs Senate bills, etc, are all part of the public record. Not “speculation”.
He supports SLS now.
“When I first took the job [of Planetary Society CEO], I was under a lot of pressure to criticize the Space Launch System,” he said. “But it’s in the works, and the people doing it seem to know what they’re doing, and it really would be a great thing.”
Dave Masten has estimated that it would take only $400 M to have a Centaur modified to be a human-scale, cargo lunar lander — the XEUS. Just look at the many ways that other things are being funded at or nearly at that level.
and that would be a good thing
So for about $600 million ULA and Masten Space can put a 5-10 tonne object on the Moon. When the system is TRL 9 they can offer a bulk buy discount.
Just like with Commercial Cargo & Crew, NASA could commit to purchasing a set of FH launches (e.g. 10 with option of 10 transferable to Starship) plus 10 + 10 XEUS landers. This would not only help those companies develop the technology and attract their own matching investment but would result in the set-up of power, ice-harvesting, and habitation systems on the Moon.
The problem is that NASA would need to have a budget for the mission hardware, internally they price such missions on the assumption that you have to optimise for every kg, “anything else is a waste”. Across much of the agency, there’s no culture that allows low-cost experimental missions, and a hostile culture to any such proposals. Hence in the internal politics, ten or twenty missions is automatically assumed to mean someone is trying to grab $5-20 billion from someone else, and so would be defended against to the death. (You can see the Catch-22. But you’ll recall in the book, the reference was not just to irony, but to insanity.)
10 off launches at say $300 million each would need approval from Congress.
CCDev1 was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In 2 or 3 years time there may be something similar to cover Trump’s reelection. This will fit in with the end of CLPS.
NASA should commit to do something similar with Vulcan, FH and NG…8 each, 2 each a year would be a substantial investment and a lot of lift
Surely 24 competed. Not a fixed no-matter-what-you-do gift guaranteed 8 each.
But again, the issue isn’t launches, it’s payloads. That’s where we need to change things. We need a new generation of low cost payloads to match low cost launch. So we can have ten missions for the price of one traditional one.
Douglas, you asked for help with amounts, which I unfortunately don’t have, but I thought I’d mention that it seems WFIRST should be in the ‘Astrophysics’ category, not ‘Planetary Science’ as listed on the chart in your article
Thank you. Fixed. Don’t know what I was thinking on that one.
it will be meaningless SLS and Orion are sponges sucking up cash
And now you get to add LOP-G to the general suck-fest.
If SLS is cancelled a lander refuelling point will probably be needed in lunar orbit. The LOP-G is a valid design for the propellant depot’s control room.
Why does a fuel depot need a “control room”?
I am far from convinced that anything using robotic arms can be operated by remote control. The tanker could be a robot but the lander and capsule will be crewed.
Automatic docking has been in use for over a decade at ISS. Robot-arm berthing is only used for a few none-autonomous spacecraft like Dragon. There’s no reason why a fuel depot would use a robot arm, and it certainly wouldn’t use manual docking. (Also the capsule would never dock with the depot. The lander docks with the depot for refuelling, the capsule docks with the fuelled lander.)
But regardless, LOP-G is only crewed during actual missions, used as an glorified transfer tube between lander and capsule. With proposed depot architectures for the lander, there’s no refuelling carried out while the crew are present. Cargo-fuel flights to the depot are done between crew missions, not during.
There’s no-one to man your “control room”. So automated docking is necessary for the depot anyway.
The astronaut going to the Moon can control the refuelling of his lander. He/she can also control the transfer of the heavy cargo from the capsule to the lander.
NASA wants the lander refuelled from commercial cargo providers between missions, not during. That way it doesn’t matter if they lose a shipment, the vendor only gets paid for fuel delivered, but can use any launcher they want, taking whatever risks they want. To repeat: It will not be refuelled after the crew arrives. The crew will not be there. There are no crew during refuelling. Uncrewed operation. Hom nada presente.
Uh, in that sentence I see the lander and I see the capsule and I see the crew from the capsule. But you haven’t mentioned LOP-G. What is the role of LOP-G in carrying boxes between one and the other?
Refuelling between missions would mean storing the fuel in the lander rather than in a temperature controlled depot or tanker. Possible but consider boil-off.
The proposed LOP-G will have a robotic arm that will arrive with the first logistics module, flight EM-6. Such arms can be used as cranes in micro gravity.
The capsule would dock to say the port side of the LOP-G and the lander to the starboard side. The arm can then open the cargo holds and transfer unpressurised items across.
Forgot to point out…
If SLS is not cancelled, the lander will need refuelling. Remember NASA wants to lander to be at least partially reusable, which means refuelling. And it’s not launched on SLS, it’s “commercial”. Ditto the LOP-G itself isn’t meant to launch on SLS.
SLS’s role appears to be solely to launch Orion.
Hence if SLS is cancelled (hence, presumably so too Orion), the only thing that needs to change in NASA’s plan would be getting crew to LOP-G. Of course, if SLS/Orion were cancelled, I would hope that LOP-G and its NRHO goes away too.
A CST-100 would still need somewhere to rendezvous with the lander. The LOP-G could easily be put in a different lunar orbit.
How about it rendezvous with… the lander?
Your lander is now rendezvousing with the crewed capsule twice, rendezvousing with the fuel tanker, transferring heavy cargo and station keeping for months on end. This is getting complicated and heavy.
NASA’s plan is to rendezvous with LOP-G at least twice. Plus rendezvous with a fuel tanker. Is that “getting complicated and heavy”?
(As for station-keeping, it’s trivial compared to the extra delta-v required by operating the lander from NRHO. Kilometres per second for each mission vs a few hundred metres per second between missions. (And I’m ignoring lunar orbits which are known to miss the mascons, so have very low stationkeeping requirements.))
A station would be better suited to handle these complications than a crew capsule. More power more maneuverability more supplies a means to inspect for and repair damage all the little things that can come up with an assembled architecture can be mediated by having a platform to work from. Though if you actually have an alternative that isn’t some ss/sh fantasy I’m all ears…
Assuming NASA would still use an assembled lander a site like lop-g would still have a use. Assembling anything tends to go smoother when you have a surface to rest things on (or wall of Velcro) rather than juggling them all loose. And we’ll have multiple PPB tugs there is the possibility that ARM could always make a comeback.
How far you’re reaching to try to find anything to justify LOP-G should have tipped you off how dumb an idea it is.
What is your alternative then to reach the surface of the moon, mars, or an asteroid?
Caveots: while the plan can be used to demonstrate new methods like propellant transfer and evolve to incorporate and take advantage of them over time the initial phases and landing must be able to be performed without them for redundancy sake.
My point was that the LOP-G is utterly irrelevant to NASA’s proposed lunar landing architecture. Even accepting NASA’s own preferred ideas, LOP-G merely makes everything harder and more expensive.
For example, by basing the lander at LOP-G, you add more than 2km/s to the delta-v requirements for the lander, making it much harder to design a lander around the constraints of existing launchers. You also add around a week of transit for the crew between the surface and LOP-G, adding to the ECLSS requirements.
And for all that, you basically get a crew transfer tunnel. That’s it. There’s no actual “capability”. It doesn’t actually do anything for landing missions (or asteroid missions, or Mars missions.)
Why? Because if we get tied up testing ice drills and cyro storage the next pres will just cancel the whole thing and make new plan with his name on it. We need realistic short term goals not grandious leaps the plan needs to be able to proceed on schedule even if some of its innovations lag behind. Ergo reuse, refuel, recycle are all redundant they’d be nice to have but the mission shouldn’t hinge on their availability.
Now I’m still expecting an alternative from you. So since you say we can’t assemble the lander at NRHO where will it be assembled?
Just to re-iterate. NASA’s plan requires all the other elements too. (Except I’m not sure where “ice drills” comes from. The depot proposals are assuming commercial deliveries from Earth. ISRU is not part of NASA’s plan.)
I’m saying, and I’m not sure how much clearer I can be, that LOP-G DOES NOT PLAY A ROLE IN NASA’S OWN PLANS. It is not a depot, it is not a “control room”, it is rarely occupied, it serves no actual role in the lunar lander architecture; except they use it to transfer the crew between Orion and the lunar lander. Something they could do by simply docking directly, a la Apollo. The LOP-G doesn’t actually serve any role IN NASA’s OWN ARCHITECTURE. Except it forces everything further away from the moon, making landing a much more difficult task.
If you avoid the extra 2-3km/s delta-v forced onto the lander by staging at NRHO, why would you “assemble” it? The lander is only as complex as NASA’s proposal because of LOP-G.
[Has Disqus gotten much worse for everyone else, or is it something about my browser?]
[It must be your browser I’ve seen nothing weird]
If you read the proposal ( https://www.nasa.gov/sites/… ) you’ll find that reuse and refueling are merely goals all the elements are sent up fully fueled and ready to go the plan could proceed without depoting or other propellant transfer schemes using modules sized for commercial vehicles. I’d expect the same level of robustness from any alternative.
Now enough with the reiterations I believe you’ve gotten your point across you either believe assembly is unnecessary or not so complex as to benefit from a platform so back to your alternative proposal. If the lander isn’t being assembled or can be assembled in free flight how big will it or its elements be, and where will it be stageing from, and returning to?
He has been attempting to point out that it is unnecessary to stage through Guam when traveling from LA to Hawaii, and it takes away from available time at the actual destination.
I don’t care what he’s “pointing out” I want a straight answer as to what anyone would do instead that isn’t some space wank fantasy…
I’m saying it’s the same fucking plan, you dunce. Whatever they come up with to get the lunar surface with LOP-G, the same plan works without LOP-G. Why is that so hard for you to understand. It has nothing to do with SpaceX, with Starship, or anything else. I haven’t mentioned those things, only you have.
Other bystanders and interlopers bring them up anyone can offer an alternative.
so you say the same plan without lop-g? Ok you get a smaller lander cause commercial vehicles can’t deliver the same sized modules to llo congrats
This is what is pissing me off, you are so determined to try to divert the discussion from LOP-G to something else. Yes, if we eliminate the albatross of LOP-G, then we can go back and do the trades on other plans, ones that aren’t crippled by LOP-G. But those other options are not the argument against LOP-G. It’s that NASA’s OWN PLAN does not need it.
If you flying the lander between NRHO and LLO, you can have a smaller lander. You eliminate 2-3km/s delta-v requirement on each and every mission, so your lander can be smaller. Part of the reason for NASA going to a three-stage lander is because of the delta-v cost of operating out of NRHO. If you eliminate that, you open up other options. But, once again, that isn’t my point. My point is that LOP-G doesn’t do anything for NASA’s plan. It isn’t a depot. It isn’t a control room. It doesn’t reduce “station keeping”. It doesn’t make things easier. It is a burden.
Look man you answered a post I made to someone else right there with the spaceship stuff don’t get pissy at me about your failure to navigate comment trees.
Now I want to you to explain to me in more detail than “DO IT THE SAME BUT WITHOUT LOP-G!” how this mission profile is supposed to work and how it will handle irregularities so one schedule slip out mishap doesn’t scrub a whole landing. Then I want to explain how reuse will be implemented without a place to inspect vehicles and effect minor repairs and maintenance.
Explain how LOP-G enables “inspection” and “repairs”.
No need its the same as they do regularly with the operation of the ISS what the platform enables is obvious. Rather you should explain how you do it without.
and while you’re at it explain how you get the two short shelf life items there (the cryogenic decent stage, and the crew) there without haveing to keep SLS block 1B on the books to co-manifest them together? With LOP-G but no SLS we can extend the crew’s life support long enough for the descent stage to be delivered after but without LOP-G the timing becomes crucial without a mega rocket that can push 40 tons through TLI. LOP-G is our ticket to cutting SLS out of the picture but you’re to blinded by your own biases to see it
I have had problems with other websites.
My alternative for all three would be SH-Starship and no use of Gateway.
So bake everyone in the van allan belt while waiting for the fuel tankers to fuel the fuel tanker that will boost another fuel tanker up to rendezvous with you?
How disappointing I was hoping someone would have something remotely realistic…
What does Starship have to do with the Van Allen belts?
Wasn’t talking to you
Welcome to the internet. You must be new here.
says the guy who can’t navigate a comment tree…
SS/SH can’t push Spaceship through TLI all in one burn it has to raise to an elliptical orbit and then refuel this puts Spaceship at an altitude that regularly passes through the van allen belts meaning you are exposing the crew to an uncomfortable amount radiation assuming everything goes smoothly and on schedule. Heavy help you if you or your tankers miss a launch or burn window for any reason.
Assuming SS/SH ever flies a vehicle that size would still have its use delivering big pieces and transfer stages to LEO but that would mean you’d need more details than what dug above suggests of just using SS/SH to land on the moon themselves.
No no, explain how I “can’t navigate a comment tree.”
You might want to try to explain that, as well, given that SS can reach lunar flyby without refuelling and only needs to refuel in LEO (not high elliptical) in order to land itself with enough fuel to return to Earth.
You believed I was talking about SS/SH out of the blue to change the topic away from LOP-G when in reality I was answering someone else’s comment you self centered little twat.
Oh I can explain this phenomenon you see every time people talk about the flaws and folly of making a giant magic jesus rocket the listener imagines an even bigger giant magic jesus rocket to compensate and they take an extra zero off the end of the launch price in the process.
What? I replied to a dumb comment you made to Duheagle about Starship having to refuel in the VA belts. You said you “weren’t talking to me”, then said I “couldn’t navigate a comment tree”.
a) I was well aware you were replying to Duheagle.
b) I was replying to the comment you made to him.
c) Because that’s how threads work.
The rest is you being weird.
Nope. Explain how Starship has to refuel in the VA belts. The claim you made.
I did. every year it feels like BFR creeps into being more and more fantastically capable while simultaniously shrinking in size the way it can land on the moon by just refueling in LEO is by you all being completely delusional. It will never possibly be able to do that.
Of Course, it is what the Old Space firms like Boeing and Lockheed specialize in doing with their cost plus contracts and why they trash talk SpaceX, because it threatens to expose their game.
its NASA and the politicans that push SLS and Orion. dont blame that on boeing
Boeing bribes the politicians.
Interesting that they fund NTR at $100m, SEP at $48m (which AIUI will be eaten by LOP-G), but they don’t fund new nuclear power reactor research to follow on from KiloPower. If they are serious about returning to the moon, which I guess they aren’t, they need a power source that can operate overnight. Ditto if they want to explore the polar ices.
Without power at night, you are limited to daytime-only missions, hence short duration, hence ruling out anything except Apollo-redux. (Likewise for a decent Europa lander mission. Likewise an Ice Giant (Neptune/Uranus) mission.)
Meanwhile, there doesn’t seem to be anything on the books that calls for NTR.
Can’t see what the reasoning is behind that.
Give it time. Can’t ask for everything at once. You have to have big hydrolox HLVs for NTR to work well. This excludes kerolox LVs.