Congress, NASA

NASA gets $17.8 billion in FY09 omnibus bill

Congressman David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced an omnibus FY09 appropriations bill Monday for those agencies whose FY09 budgets had not yet been passed by Congress, including NASA. Those agencies have been operating on a continuing resolution since October 1; that resolution runs through March 6, meaning that Congress is likely to act on this omnibus bill quickly.

The section of the bill dealing with NASA begins on page 67 of this PDF document. When compared to the proposed FY09 budget released just over 12 months ago, NASA get pretty much all that it asked for, plus a bit more, at least at the overall account levels. The table below compares the original budget proposal with the omnibus budget levels:

Account FY09 Proposal FY09 Omnibus Diff.
Science $4,441.5 $4,503.0 $61.5
Aeronautics $446.5 $500.0 $53.5
Exploration $3,500.5 $3,505.5 $5.0
Space Shuttle $2,981.7 $2,981.7 $0.0
ISS $2,060.2 $2,060.2 $0.0
Space and Flight Support $732.8 $722.8 -$10.0
Education $115.6 $169.2 $53.6
Cross-Agency Support $3,299.9 $3,306.4 $6.5
Inspector General $35.5 $33.6 -$1.9
TOTAL $17,614.2 $17,782.4 $168.2

[All values above in millions]

There are more details in the accompanying statement (starting on p. 132 of the 12.8 MB PDF file), including breakdowns of the spending for the various programs within each account. I only had a chance to skim through it this evening, but at first glance I saw no major surprises.

Note that the budget figures here are separate from the additional money NASA received in the stimulus package, which gave the agency an additional $1 billion for FY09.

5 comments to NASA gets $17.8 billion in FY09 omnibus bill

  • red

    Wow … lots of earmarks. It’s interesting that after the recent Presidential campaign, the Adler Museum has a $900,000 earmark for planetarium equipment.

    Education and Aeronautics get big boosts compared to what they’d been getting recently.

    The brief OSTP section before the NASA one is also worth reading, as it’s about RTG material for NASA and a COTS-like effort with NASA and NOAA:

    “working with NASA and NOAA, develop a plan and program to
    encourage commercial solutions to meet space-based Earth and space weather observation requirements of the United States government, similar to the federal investments in NASA’s commercial orbital transportation services (COTS) program.”

    In the NOAA section: “NOAA is directed to report … on its plans to obtain space-based scientific data from commercial sources over the next three years.”

    There’s something outside the basics for Constellation … in the Science budget:

    “… it will be critical that the Constellation program demonstrate unique capabilities to maintain synergies between free-flying scientific spacecraft and human spaceflight endeavors.ยท Accordingly, the bill provides $20,000,000 for NASA to undertake an assessment of the feasibility of using the Constellation architecture to service existing and future observatory-class scientific spacecraft, fully utilizing the unique, core expertise and competencies for in-space servicing developed by the Goddard Space Flight Center and its private sector partners for the Hubble Space Telescope.”

  • MarkWhittington

    It seems, in absence of any spacepolicy position by the Obama administration, Congress is making it for him. And that position is the status quo, but with a little bit more money for science and aeronautics.

  • red

    Mark might be right in his status quo comment. It seems like that for the most part, at least as far as my non-legal reading eyes see.

    As far as Obama is concerned, he does have a space policy position from the campaign.

    The question is whether or not that policy is for real or not. I’m sure it is in areas like education, Earth science, international collaboration, and aeronautics … but what about innovation and commercial space, and non-NASA efforts from his space policy like ORS and ITAR reform?

    As for Congress, the previous bill (which didn’t see light) had a lot of emphasis on commercial space – COTS, commercial docking, prizes, etc. It’s a new Congress now … has that emphasis fizzled away?

  • [...] for NASA for FY10. That would be nearly $1 billion more than what they agency is likely to get in the regular FY09 omnibus appropriations currently being considered by Congress. However, when the $1 billion in stimulus funding is added, it works out to about the same [...]

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