In the final fiscal year 2002 VA/HUD conference report, conferees gave
NASA 1.9 percent more than the President's request and 3.8 percent more
than FY 2001 funding. Space Science, Earth Science, and Biological and
Physical Research will all receive increases over the request. Human
Space Flight will get less than requested, as will the International
Space Station, amid concerns about the program's cost overruns and final
configuration. While the FY 2001 budget levels are provided below, direct
comparisons between FY 2002 and FY 2001 levels are not valid because
NASA reorganized its accounting structure. Although total NASA funding
is increased, the conference report contains many specific, detailed
earmarks for how large portions of the additional money should be used.
Selected quotes from the report are highlighted below, and the full
text of the conference report (H. Rpt. 107-272) is available at http://thomas.loc.gov.
TOTAL NASA FUNDING will grow to $14,793.2 million for FY 2002.
This is an increase of 1.9 percent, or $281.8 million, above President
Bush's FY 2002 request of $14,511.4 million. It is also an increase
of 3.8 percent, or $540.0 million, over the FY 2001 budget of $14,253.2
SPACE SCIENCE will receive $2,848.9 million. This is 2.2 percent,
or $62.5 million, over the request of $2,786.4 million. It is also $527.9
million over FY 2001 funding of $2,321.0 million, although a direct
comparison cannot be made.
Within Space Science, the conference report increases Sun-Earth Connections
for the Living With A Star program by $10.0 million above the request,
stating, "the conferees believe that understanding solar variability
and its effect on earth and mankind is of paramount importance as
we strive to understand our galaxy. Increasing our knowledge of the
effects of solar variability and disturbances on terrestrial climate
change and being able to provide advanced warning of energetic particle
events that affect the safety of humans and space flight are also
of particular importance." The conferees also provide an additional
$3.0 million above the request for Sun-Earth Connections program for
the Solar Probe.
The conference report provides "an increase of [$30.0 million]
for the Pluto Kuiper Belt (PKB) mission.... Funds provided should
be used to initiate appropriate spacecraft and science instrument
development as well as launch vehicle procurement. The conferees direct
NASA to consolidate PKB development funds within the Outer Planets
line beginning in fiscal year 2003."
The conferees provide the full budget request of $92.1 million "for
advanced technology development related to the Next Generation Space
Telescope (NGST) and expect NASA to vigorously pursue the development
of the NGST...with the goal of a launch in 2007. If technical and
budgetary constraints preclude the launch of NGST by 2007, the conferees
wish to underscore their strong desire that there should be no gap
between the end of the operations for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
and the onset of operations for NGST. As part of the out-year budget
plan, NASA should outline its transition plan to guarantee uninterrupted
continuity between HST and NGST."
The conferees "agree to provide the full budget request for
the Mars program. NASA is directed to prepare a detailed plan...on
future Mars missions beyond the proposed 2007 mission."
EARTH SCIENCE will receive $1,573.4 million. This is 3.9 percent,
or $58.4 million, over the request of $1,515.0 million. It is also $88.8
million over FY 2001 funding of $1,484.6 million, but again, a direct
comparison between years cannot be made.
Within Earth Science, the conferees provide an increase of $6.0 million
above the request "for the EOSDIS Core System to expand its data
processing and distribution capacity," and an increase of $23.5
million "for the Synergy program to develop additional end uses
for EOS data." An increase of $1.0 million is provided "for
the Triana Science Team to continue its work in preparation for future
launch.... The conferees recognize the important scientific contributions
to be made by Triana," but its launch has been on hold "due
to Shuttle manifest conflicts." To offset some of the many earmarked
increases, a general reduction of $17.2 million from the request is
to be applied to Earth Sciences.
BIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL RESEARCH will receive $714.4 million.
This is 97.9 percent, or $353.5 million, over the request of $360.9
million. It is also $401.5 million over FY 2001 funding of $312.9 million,
but not directly comparable.
The conferees "have agreed to transfer a total of [$283.6 million]
from the Human Space Flight account into this program for research
activities associated with the International Space Station."
An additional increase of $55.0 million for space station research
is provided "for the Fluids and Combustion Facility and other
priority space station research and equipment."
HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT will be funded at $6,912.4 million. This
is a reduction of 5.3 percent, or $383.6 million, from the request of
$7,296.0 million. Although direct comparison cannot be made, it is $1,461.5
million over FY 2001 funding of $5,450.9 million.
This amount includes a general reduction of $75.0 million from the
space station program. Additionally, "the conferees have not
provided any additional funding for the Crew Return Vehicle.... The
funding level also reflects the transfer of [$283.6 million] for ISS
research from the human space flight account" to Biological and
Physical Research. For the space shuttle, "the conferees direct
that not less than [$207.0 million] be made available for Space Shuttle
Safety Upgrades," unless NASA submits an Operating Plan adjustment.
Within Human Space Flight, funding for the INTERNATIONAL SPACE
STATION will drop to "no more than" $1,963.6 million.
This is a decrease of 5.9 percent, or $123.8 million, from the request
of $2,087.4 million, and $149.3 million less than FY 2001 funding
of $2,112.9 million. The conference report contains extensive language
on the space station, which will be provided in FYI
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS will grow to $230.8 million. This is a 50.2
percent, or $77.1 million, increase over the request of $153.7 million
and $98.1 million over FY 2001 funding of $132.7 million.
Within this account, the National Space Grant College and Fellowship
program will receive an increase of $5.0 million, and EPSCoR an increase
of $5.4 million, above the request.
INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN ARMS REGULATIONS (ITAR): Under the
section for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the conference
"the conferees agree that the Office of Science and Technology
Policy should make the clarification of the International Traffic
in Arms Regulation a high priority for resolution. The conferees expect
the President's Science Advisor to address and resolve the matter
by February 1, 2002."
Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics