Congress, Other, Pentagon

How other space-related items fared in the FY14 spending bill

While NASA did relatively well in the omnibus spending bill, at least at the overall spending level, some other space-related programs did not fare as well. Space News reports some key military space programs got less than what they requested for fiscal year 2014. The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program received $1.5 billion, $367 million less than the administration’s request. The SBIRS missile warning system, Space Situational Awareness program, and GPS program also received between about $50 and 90 million less than originally requested. The Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office, preserved by the defense authorization bill last month, would get a modest $10 million in the bill. Funding for the ORS Office has not been included in the budget request as the Air Force sought to close it.

NOAA’s two weather satellite development programs, the GOES-R geostationary satellite and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) polar satellite, were each funded at the administration’s request: $954.8 million for GOES-R and $824 million for JPSS. The report accompanying the bill noted that those programs, which have suffered development issues, “are proceeding well and being effectively executed.” However, the reported added continued concern about “program fragility” and concerns about a gap in polar satellite data. “The Committees expect NOAA to present a strategy with the fiscal year 2015 budget that fully addresses both the short- and long-term challenges associated with the gap and fragility of the program,” the report states.

The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation received $16.011 million in the omnibus bill (out of a total budget for FAA operations of $9.65 billion), the same amount in the administration’s request.

2 comments to How other space-related items fared in the FY14 spending bill

  • Dark Blue Nine

    You have to love the dysfunction of Congress. An unnecessary, duplicative, hyper-expensive, civil HLV with no national security function gets hundreds of millions of dollars more than requested. But multiple, critical path, civil space weather and military space programs upon which literally thousands to millions of lives depend get shafted to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    What a brilliant national space strategy…

  • Fred Willett

    The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program received $1.5 billion,
    The DoD pays this to ensure the EELVs stay in place for US DoD use.
    SpaceX doesn’t get this subsidy.
    Frank Kendall, U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, last year said the projected cost of the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) rocket program over 150 missions has more than doubled since 2004, to nearly $70 billion.
    That works out at $466.6M a flight.
    Presumably that includes the subsidy.
    SpaceX charges flat $56.5M for a F9 flight.
    SpaceX accounts for the paper work of doing a NASA flight separately at about $20M. This would make a NASA flight about $76.5M.
    I don’t know what sort of paperwork DoD requires but it would have to be a hell of a lot to push the cost of F9 up to $400M+.
    Isn’t it time DoD dropped the subsidy to EELVs?

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