NASA FY 2002 Request: Space Science, Academic Programs

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Publication date: 
11 April 2001

NASA's total budget would increase by 1.8 percent, to $14,511.4 million, under President Bush's FY 2002 request. "We face some difficult decisions," NASA Administrator Dan Goldin remarked. "The President fully expects NASA to live within the requested funding levels, and is aware that doing so will require some difficult decisions. We are proposing to Congress in this budget plan that some lower priority activities be eliminated to allow for a much more vigorous space and science exploration program."

Compared to the FY 2001 budget, Space Science funding would rise by 5.7 percent, but Earth Science funding would experience a 13.9 percent decrease. Biological and Physical Research would decrease by 6.9 percent. Human Space Flight would increase by 2.5 percent but, within this account, funding for the International Space Station would drop by 1.2 percent. At the budget press briefing, Goldin announced that "The fiscal 2002 budget includes strong support for the Space Launch Initiative [$4.5 billion over the next five years] and for improving Aviation safety, Space Science programs, Earth Sciences and for Shuttle Safety improvements."

With this request, the agency is proposing to reorganize many of its accounts, incorporating activities that used to fall under mission support and supporting technology development, and eliminating the Mission Support account. This year NASA presented two different versions of its FY 2002 request; one reflecting the reorganization of accounts, and another that shows funding for programs as organized in the current fiscal year, to enable comparisons between FY 2002 and FY 2001 funding. The percentages cited above are a direct comparison of program funding levels between the two years and do not reflect the reorganization of accounts. Both forms of the request will be shown below. This FYI will cover the request for Space Science and Academic Programs; the next will address Earth Science, Biological and Physical Research, and Human Space Flight.

SPACE SCIENCE REQUEST: Up 5.7 percent in direct comparison

The proposed budgets for FY 2002 and beyond, Goldin said, "enable the opportunity for the Space Science communities to do exciting, wonderful new work. There's a caution, however. This Administration has made it clear that growth in mission funding requirements will need to be offset within this budget plan. Hard decisions had...and will be made." He continued, "We've had to offset development problems with [SIRTF] and Gravity Probe-B with other reductions within Space Science. We wanted the funds to mount a more aggressive Mars exploration program. We got the funds, but the offset came from canceling Pluto-Kuiper Express and Solar Probe. This is one example of the type of priority reexamination that is going on at NASA, as encouraged by the President. And, personally, I think that it's the way it ought to be."

NASA has recently restructured its Mars Exploration Program; plans include launch in 2003 of twin Mars Exploration Rovers and launch of a Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2005. NASA will continue to evaluate proposals for alternatives to the Pluto mission. The Solar Probe mission was not considered a near-term budget priority and will not receive funding in FY 2002. NASA currently has 29 operating Space Science spacecraft, and plans to launch about nine more before the end of FY 2002.

SPACE SCIENCE FY 2001 FY 2002 Req. FY 2002 Req.
REQUEST Budget (direct comparison)(Reorganized)
(In millions)
Space Science Total $2321.0 2453.0 2786.4
Relativity/GP-B 41.2 40.2 40.2
HST Development 179.5 161.8 161.8
SOFIA 38.9 37.0 37.0
SIRTF 118.4 105.9 105.9
TIMED 13.3 --- ---
STEREO --- 50.3 50.3
GLAST --- 19.4 19.4
Payloads 33.4 44.8 44.8
Explorer Program 141.3 155.0 155.0
Mars Surveyor Prog. 427.6 430.9 430.9
Discovery 213.0 217.1 217.1
Operating Missions 85.3 105.3 105.3
Technology programs 419.1 478.8 478.8
Research programs 596.8 606.5 606.5
Additional funding for
Academic programs 13.2 * *
R&PM --- --- 311.9
Constr. of facilities. --- --- 21.5

*Funding transferred to Academic Programs

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS: Up 15.8 percent in direct comparison

Goldin expressed concern "that there will not be enough young scientists and engineers to carry-on in the pursuit of research and development." He said NASA is "proposing the establishment of a significant number of scholarships in science and engineering. We will link those to our current summer student and faculty programs, so the students can work at our field centers, side-by-side with our scientists and engineers."

ACADEMIC PROGS. FY 2001 FY 2002 Req. FY 2002 Req.
REQUEST Budget (direct comparison) (Reorganized)
(In millions)
Academic Progs. Total $132.7 153.7 153.7
Education Programs 76.8 71.6 71.6
Minority University
Res. & Educ. 55.9 82.1 82.1
(Additional funding
not shown above) (36.2) --- ---

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