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FY 2010 NASA Appropriation

Richard M. Jones
Number 148 - December 17, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Congress has passed and sent to President Barack Obama H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010. This bill provides NASA with an increase of $942 million, or 5.3 percent over its FY 2009 appropriation.

There is extensive language in the Joint Explanatory Statement regarding NASA. Readers interested in a specific program should view the final entry entitled “Transportation/HUD Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010" at this site. Reading across, access H. Report 111-366. The section on NASA can be found on PDF pages 739-741 and 749-769 (not the document pages.) Note that there are several out-of-place tables.

Overall National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

FY 2009 appropriation: $17.782 billion (does not include stimulus funding)
FY 2010 request: $18.686 billion, an increase of $903.6 million or 5.1 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $18.724 billion, an increase of $942 million or 5.3 percent

There was extensive language regarding “NASA’s management of its budget, as well as its financial record keeping and reporting.” House and Senate conferees delineated “several steps to assist NASA in improving its fiscal management.”

Science:

FY 2009 appropriation: $4.503 billion (does not include stimulus funding)
FY 2010 request: $4.477 billion, a decline of $26 million or 0.6 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $4.469 billion, a decline of $34 million or 0.8 percent

The report has language regarding earth science, other missions and data analysis; climate variables and climate science; scatterometer; Earth system science, science pathfinder, other mission and data analysis; near Earth object observations; GLOBE; planetary science, international lunar launch network; astrophysics, exoplanet exploration, other missions and data analysis, James Webb space telescope, Jupiter system mission; heliophysics, sounding rockets operations; solar probe plus; magnetospheric multiscale; planetary science, technology; and general reduction.

Aeronautics:

The FY 2009 appropriation: $500 million (does not include stimulus funding)
The FY 2010 request: $507 million, an increase of $7 million or 1.4 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $501 million, as increase of $1 million or 0.2 percent

The report contained a paragraph on an aviation safety program.

Exploration:

FY 2009 appropriation: $3.506 billion
FY 2010 request: $3.963 billion, an increase of $457 million or 13 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $3.746 billion, an increase of $240 million or 6.9 percent

The report contains language on microgravity research, technology infusion projects, and a general reduction. It also contains extensive language regarding “U.S. human spaceflight plans,” an excerpt of which follows:

“The conferees note that the previous Administration failed to request a budget adequate to implement its Vision for Space Exploration while also maintaining a balanced portfolio of science and aeronautics programs, returning the Shuttle to flight after the Columbia accident and completing the International Space Station. Similarly, the current budget submittal for fiscal year 2010 and beyond significantly reduces planned funding for space exploration activities such that human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit is not viable under the fiscal year 2010 budget guideline. As the committee noted, ‘NASA's budget should match its mission and goals’ and ‘whatever space program is ultimately selected, it must be matched with the resources needed for its execution.’ It is the expressed hope of the conferees that the Administration will formulate its formal decision soon, submit its recommendation for congressional review and consideration, and budget the necessary resources to meet U.S. spaceflight program funding requirements identified in the Administration's recommendation and congressionally-approved program for space exploration while maintaining a balanced portfolio of science and aeronautics programs.”

Space Operations:

FY 2009 appropriation: $5.765 billion
FY 2010 request: $6.176 billion, an increase of $411 million or 7.1 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $6.147 billion, an increase of $382 million or 6.6 percent

The report contained language on International Space Station Operations; tracking and data relay satellite system, and a general reduction. Regarding the space shuttle, the report stated:

“The summary report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee noted that the projected flight rate of the Space Shuttle prior to its projected retirement is nearly twice that of the actual flight rate since return to flight after the Columbia accident, stating, ‘Recognizing that undue schedule and budget pressure can subtly impose a negative influence on safety, the Committee finds a more realistic schedule is prudent. With the remaining flights likely to stretch into the second quarter of 2011, the Committee considers it important to budget for Shuttle operations through that time.’ Accordingly, the Administration is urged to provide adequate funding for the remaining Shuttle flights in its fiscal year 2011 budget request without reducing other important and ongoing NASA activities.”

Education:

FY 2009 appropriation: $169.2 million
FY 2010 request: $126.1 million, a decline of $43.1 million or 25.5 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $182.5 million, an increase of $13.3 million or 7.9 percent

The report contained language on education activities; National Space Grant College and Fellowship program; Classroom of the Future; educational activities at NASA centers; and the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students program.

Cross Agency Support:

FY 2009 appropriation:$3.306 billion
FY 2010 request: $3.401 billion, an increase of $95 million or 2.9 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $3.194 billion, a decline of an increase of $112 million or 3.4 percent

The report contained language on small business innovative research and small business technology transfer research; cybersecurity; and a general reduction.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095