As reported in FYI #94, Senate appropriators
have now marked up the FY 2002 VA/HUD funding bill. This bill recommends
$14,561.4 million for NASA. This represents an increase of $276.1 million
(1.9 percent) over current-year funding, and $50.0 million (0.4 percent)
over President Bush's request. It is less of an increase, however, than
the $14,926.4 million recommended by VA/HUD appropriators in the House
(see FYI #88). The House committee
report is not yet available.
OFFICE OF SPACE SCIENCE
For space science, the committee made a number of changes to the
requested amount of $2,786.4 million, including several earmarks.
It appears that the committee bill would decrease funding somewhat
from the request. Some of the major changes to the request, with explanatory
quotes from the committee report, are listed below:
Mars Surveyor (future Surveyor projects) would be reduced by $50.0
million, "subject to a detailed plan on future Mars missions beyond
the proposed 2007 mission...."
"Focused research and technology for the Europa Orbiter/X-2000 program"
would be decreased by $48.6 million, while an increase of $43.6 million
would be provided
"for focused research and technology for a consolidated future
outer planets program in which all missions, including the Europa
Orbiter, are to be competed through a full and open announcement
of opportunity.... NASA should proceed with the selection of Europa
science instruments as planned...."
Sun-Earth connections (SEC) focused research for the Solar Probe
mission would be increased by $5.0 million, with directions for NASA
to "consolidate management for this mission with its existing SEC/Living
With a Star program in lieu of the proposed termination." An increase
of $20.0 million is recommended
"for focused research and technology for Sun-Earth connections
(SEC) for the Future Living With A Star (LWS) program, restoring
the program to the funding profile in the 2001 budget. The Committee
believes that understanding solar variability and its effect on
earth and mankind is of paramount importance as we strive to understand
"The Committee recommends the budget request of $92.1 million
[no change] for advanced technology development related to the Next
Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and expects NASA to vigorously
pursue the development of the NGST...with the goal of a launch in
The bill would increase the funding for the Pluto Kuiper Express
(PKE) mission by $25.0 million.
"The Committee has deferred, without prejudice, the inclusion of
full funding for the PKE. It has, however, included $25,000,000
for it by eliminating the proposed $25,000,000 for the 'quick sprint
to Pluto' propulsion initiative contained in the core research and
technology line for solar system exploration.... [T]he Committee
expects to address the issue of full funding for PKE in Conference."
FY 2001 funding for the Office of Space Science was $2,321.0 million.
OFFICE OF EARTH SCIENCE
Again, the committee made a number of changes to the requested amount
of $1,515.0 million, many in the form of earmarks. It appears that
funding would be increased over the request. Some of the major changes
to the request are listed below with explanatory quotes from the report:
The bill would provide an increase of $31.1 million "for the EOSDIS
program element." Within this element, an increase of $40.0 million
is recommended for the EOSDIS Core System and funding for the EOS
Federation would be reduced by $8.9 million.
The bill would provide an increase of $7.5 million
"for EOS Follow-on projects for the tropospheric (global) winds
mission only, to be acquired through a commercial data purchase
only. The Committee takes notable exception to NASA's refusal to
abide by Congressional directive in last year's conference report
directing the Agency to initiate an RFP for such a date purchase.
In fact, the Committee is dismayed that NASA has allocated these
funds apparently for trade studies on the subject, ignoring the
compelling requirement to proceed with this mission."
The report also states,
"the Committee expects NASA to develop a long-term plan to partner
with U.S. universities and industry in a variety of NASA-related
science research, including research related to nanotechnology,
information technology and remote sensing. These are all areas of
investment that have a commercial application that will have an
increasing impact on society, the economy, and quality of life."
FY 2001 funding for the Office of Earth Science was $1,484.6 million.
OFFICE OF BIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL RESEARCH
The FY 2002 request for this office was $360.9 million, and included
the recommendation that space station research funding be transferred
to this office. The bill would provide an additional $50.0 million
over the request, as follows:
"The Committee has transferred the Space Station research program
to the Office of Biological and Physical Research as requested by
NASA and the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, the Committee
has increased funding for Space Station research by $50,000,000
over the budget request for a total of $333,600,000 for Space Station
Total funding for this office would grow to $410.9 million.
The report continues,
"In previous years, the Committee has expressed its intent that
scientific research remain one of NASA's top priorities. However,
delays in the construction of the Station and NASA reliance of the
Shuttle for ISS construction have significantly reduced the opportunities
for life and microgravity research. Therefore, the Committee directs
NASA to include as part of its study of the ISS research program,
opportunities for space-based life and microgravity research earlier
in the ISS program, including, but not limited to, flying research
payloads on Shuttle missions to the ISS, using extended duration
orbiters and building ISS research facilities."
FY 2001 funding for the Office of Biological and Physical Research
was $312.9 million.
HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT, INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
Human Space Flight would receive $6,868.0 million, less than the
FY 2002 request but more than FY 2001 funding. Within this account,
$1,681.3 million would be provided for International Space Station
"development and operations. This funding level is below the President's
request due to the transfer of Space Station research funds from
the Human Space Flight account to [the Office of Biological and
Physical Research] and a general reduction of $150,000,000 from
the Space Station budget.... The Committee takes this general reduction
without prejudice in light of the construction delays and uncertainty
over the Space Station's final design."
The committee report contains extensive text regarding the latest
projections of cost overruns to the space station and its impact on
the number of crew and research capacity. This text, and similar text
from the House committee report, will be highlighted in a separate
Among NASA's academic programs, the National Space Grant College
and Fellowship Program would receive $19.1 million, equal to the request
and to current funding. NASA's EPSCoR program would receive $10.0
million, more than the request but equal to current funding. Minority
university research and education activities would receive the requested
level of $82.1 million, $26.2 million greater than FY 2001 funding.
The committee added many earmarks to this section as well.
Audrey T. Leath
Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics firstname.lastname@example.org