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.