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FYI focuses on the programs and missions sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate, including in the Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Heliophysics, and Earth Science Divisions. FYI also covers science-related missions supported by other directorates, including the International Space Station.

16 Jan 2014

The FY 2014 appropriations cycle is coming to a close.  On Monday evening the text of an almost 1,600 page bill was released that was the product of intense negotiations between the House and Senate Appropriations Committees since a budget agreement was announced in December.  The omnibus bill, consisting of twelve separate appropriations bills, was passed by the House yesterday by a wide margin, is now being considered by Senate, and will be sent to President Obama within the next few days.

29 Jan 2013

Earlier this month the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel issued its 2012 Annual Report. Looking for hazards across the space agency’s wide-ranging portfolio of on-going and proposed operations and facilities, the panel assessed six issues and concerns. Only one of the six in the three-color-coded graphic was red: the continuing issue of funding uncertainty. “NASA’s budget is the ‘elephant in the room’ both for commercial space and for longer term exploration” the panel warned.

28 Jan 2013

“While NASA’s programs are funded as part of the Federal domestic discretionary budget, we should not forget that those programs are long-term [research and development] undertakings, and they can’t just be turned on and off whenever we have a short-term fiscal issue needing attention—not if we want them to be successful, and not if we want to maintain our commitment to the dedicated workforce that is trying to bring them to fruition. That is a challenge we are going to face in the coming months and years as we work to put the nation’s financial house in order.

25 Jan 2013

In 2011, Congress directed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Office of Inspector General to assess NASA’s goals, objectives, and strategies that were set forth in the 2011 NASA Strategic Plan. NASA requested that this assessment be conducted by the National Research Council (NRC). The NRC Committee on NASA’s Strategic Direction was formed and was asked to address the relevance of NASA’s strategic direction as it relates to achieving national priorities, to examine the viability of these plans given the current economic conditions, and provide insight on the appropri

19 Jul 2013

“We are just never going to agree on this,” said Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) midway through an hours-long committee markup yesterday of the NASA Authorization Act of 2013.  Grayson’s comment reflected the deep-seated division between the Republican and Democratic members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee about the approach that should be taken to funding NASA, and in a larger sense, all federal agencies in coming years.

17 Apr 2013

The Obama Administration has requested $17,715.4 million for NASA in FY 2014, a decline of $54.6 million or 0.3 percent from the FY 2012 level.  Science funding would decline 1.1 percent under the proposed budget.

In his remarks on the FY 2014 request, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden emphasized the agency’s science programs:

28 Jun 2013

A 90-minute hearing last week by the House Subcommittee on Space demonstrated how difficult it will be to enact legislation providing budget and policy guidance to NASA for FY 2014 and FY 2015.

21 Jun 2013

A joint hearing last month by two subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee – the Subcommittee on Space and Subcommittee on Research – provided ample evidence of enthusiastic bipartisan support for NASA and NSF programs to discover new planets orbiting stars other than our Sun.

7 Jun 2013

Space exploration has been the subject of many recent hearings in both the House and Senate in preparation for the upcoming reauthorization of bill for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).