SPECIAL REPORT (EXPANDED): NASA PLANETARY SCIENCE BUDGET PASSED

Mark V. Sykes, Planetary Science Institute


December 30, 2007
Modified: January 5, 2008

NASA Portion of Budget Bill
Explanatory Statement (PDF)

On December 26, President Bush signed the Omnibus spending bill passed by Congress that includes fiscal 2008 funding for NASA. A summary of planetary science funding is provided below (in $M). Sources: Omnibus Explanatory Statement and the President's FY08 NASA Budget Request.

FY08 Omnibus
Appropriated
FY06
Actual
FY07
Requested
FY08
Requested
SMD5577.315244.65466.85516.10
Planetary Science1405.51298.91411.21395.8
Discovery181.6131.8179.9184.9
New Frontiers146.8118.1158.1147.3
Technology66.456.773.467.6
Planetary Science Research384.3330.0278.8370.5
Planetary Science Research and Analysis146.6a
201b
155b142bUNK
Outer Planets Mission Studies5.0
CassiniNot detailed
RosettaNot detailed
HyabusaNot detailed
PDS & Astromaterials curationNot detailed
Lunar Science ResearchNot detailed
Mars Exploration626.4662.2721.1625.7
aSource: Omnibus Explanatory Statement
bSource: James Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division. Go to http://planetarynews.org/archive08/pen_v02_n02_080105.txt for a very helpful explanation by James Green of how these numbers are derived.

Comments from the Explanatory Statement:

"The Appropriations Committees continue to be concerned about the process of setting NASA priorities through significant funding shifts in revised operating plans rather than through the regular appropriations process. The guidance proposed in the amended bill and this explanatory statement provides a clear base funding level. The Committees must be notified of any deviations that meet the criteria established in section 505. Finally, language is included providing for the transfer of funds between appropriations accounts through the reprogramming process."

"The amended bill provides $10,543,100,000 for the Science, Aeronautics and Exploration account instead of $10,896,200,000 in a different account structure as proposed by the House and $10,633,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. Within this total, $5,577,310,000 is for science activities, $625,280,000 is for aeronautics, $3,842,010,000 is for exploration systems and $556,400,000 is for cross-agency support programs including education. The amended bill reduces amounts available for corporate and general administrative expenses by $57,900,000 in this account. These amounts are to be applied proportionally to all amounts within the Science, Aeronautics, Exploration and Cross-Agency Support Programs accounts."

Science

"Within the total amount proposed for Science, Aeronautics and Exploration, the amended bill provides $5,577,310,000 for science activities instead of $5,696,100,000 as proposed by the House and $5,655,200,000 as proposed by the Senate. This level includes a general reduction of $42,090,000. The distribution of this reduction should be outlined in NASA's operating plan, and the reduction should not be applied to any programs, projects, or activities that are specified in this explanatory statement. The Appropriations Committees are disappointed by the Administration's request of a less than one per cent increase for fiscal year 2008 and projected minimal increases of approximately one per cent over the next several years. The Nation's investment in research at NASA has made the U.S. the undisputed leader in the study of space and the earth's environment. NASA's programs in space science, Earth science, microgravity science, and astrobiology are the types of basic research investments advocated in the National Academies' Rising Above the Gathering Storm report."

"The amended bill includes:
- Not less than $280,000,000 for the Hubble Space Telescope
- Not less than $545,400,000 for the James Webb Space Telescope
- Not less than $90,200,000 for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission
- Not less than $626,400,000 for the Mars Exploration Program
- Not less than $60,000,000 for the Space Interferometry Mission

The Appropriations Committees acknowledge that these sums are only floors. Should additional funding be required, the Committees will work with the agency on a reprogramming of funds. "

Research and Analysis Programs

"The amended bill includes an increase of $24,000,000 above the request for the research and analysis program. The program has suffered significant cuts in recent years. This program is important to maintaining the scientific vitality of the agency and also provides opportunities for young scientists and researchers to analyze data collected from current NASA missions. The research and analysis funds should be used to support both in-house and academic research. Further, there has not been an assessment of the appropriate balance between flight missions and research and analysis activities in NASA's space and Earth science programs. Therefore, NASA is directed to enter into an agreement with the National Research Council for an assessment of NASA's research and analysis activities. "

Space Interferometry Mission (SIM)

"A total of $60,000,000, an increase of $38,400,000 above the budget request, has been provided for the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). The Appropriations Committees disagree with the Administration's budget request of refocusing the Navigator Program to fund only core interferometry and related planet-finding science and reducing SIM to a development program. It should be noted that this mission was recommended by the National Academies Decadal Astrophysics report in 1990 and 2000 and should be considered a priority. With the funds proposed, NASA is to begin the development phase of the program in order to capitalize on more than $300,000,000 already invested by the agency. The SIM program has successfully passed all its technological milestones and is thus ready for development. "

Outer Planet Flagship Mission Studies

"The Appropriations Committees await the upcoming results of the NASA study to determine the next outer planet destination and look forward to working with NASA to support funding for an expedient launch of this future mission. The amended bill includes $5,000,000 to define a mission and to assess its scope and cost. "

Mars Program

"The Appropriations Committees agree with the comments in the House report commending NASA for its robotic Mars program which is one of the agency's most successful programs that has made major scientific discoveries and engaged the public. The Appropriations Committees continue to strongly support a robust Mars Exploration Program with a rate of at least one mission at every opportunity (every 26 months), which is consistent with the Administration's fiscal year 2008 request of $625,700,000. Full funding is provided to: continue operating all present missions (Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Spirit and Opportunity); prepare Phoenix for launch in 2007, Mars Science Lab for a launch in 2009, and Scout in 2011; and to start the definition and development of Mars Science orbiter for launch in 2013, and the Astrobiology Field Lab or Mid size rovers for launch in 2016. NASA is expected to continue with the development and launch of the Mars Science Lab. "

Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS)

"A critical factor that will affect future robotic missions is the source of power for probes that cannot rely on solar energy because they are traveling too far from the Sun (where solar energy density is inadequate), or too close to it (where solar arrays would be imperiled by the Sun's proximity). Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are required for these spacecraft. The Appropriations Committees are aware of concerns by NASA and the Department of Energy that a supply of fuel would not be available. However, NASA has curtailed a major part of its technology development for advanced RPS devices. In order to permit effective planning for future missions, NASA should contract with the National Research Council to prepare a report no later than December 31, 2008 on these issues."

NEOs to Stay in SMD

"The Appropriations Committees reject the Administration's proposal to transfer the Near Earth Objects (NEO) program from the Science Mission Directorate to the Exploration Mission Directorate. "

Arecibo

"Further, the Appropriations Committees are concerned that NASA may reduce support for the Arecibo Observatory which is used by NASA to observe and detect NEOs. The Committees believe that this observatory continues to provide important scientific findings on issues of near-space objects, space weather, and global climate change, as well as numerous other research areas. The Committees believe that these endeavors will have scientific merit far beyond the end of the decade. NASA is directed to provide additional funding for the Arecibo Observatory.

In order to assist Congress in determining the optimal approach regarding the Arecibo Observatory, NASA shall contract with the National Research Council to study the issue and make recommendations. As part of its deliberations, the NRC shall review NASA's report 2006 Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Study - and its associated March 2007 Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Study as well as any other relevant literature. An interim report, with recommendations focusing primarily on the optimal approach to the survey program, shall be submitted within 15 months o f enactment of this Act. The final report, including recommendations regarding the optimal approach to developing a deflection capability, shall be submitted within 21 months of enactment of this Act. The NRC study shall include an assessment of the costs of various alternatives, including options that may blend the use of different facilities (whether ground- or space-based), or involve international cooperation. Independent cost estimating should be utilized. "

Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP) - ESMD

"Within the amounts provided for exploration, $950,800,000 is for the Crew Exploration Vehicle, $1,224,800,000 is for the Crew Launch Vehicle, and $271,500,000 is for the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP), of which $42,000,000 is for the lunar lander mission. The Appropriations Committees believe that the program, management offices, and missions associated with LPRP are essential to the success of the anticipated manned missions to the Moon. Within funds provided for LPRP, $209,500,000 shall be for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and $20,000,000 shall be for the LPRP management office. The management office associated with LPRP shall also be directly involved in the planning and oversight of future lunar robotic missions, integrating lunar data from NASA and other international missions, oversee technology development, support the Lunar Architecture Team, and lead NASA's public outreach and education activities for understanding the lunar environment. "

Earmarks - 81, totaling $83,243,800

The following is a list of congressional directives. Funds for these directives shall come from Cross-Agency Support Programs, rather than from the various mission directorates.


Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL, for science and education programming for teachers and students $260,000
Adler Planetarium's Space Exploration Center $940,000
Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL, to provide a comprehensive, diverse, and flexible pool of talent at lower labor rates in the civil service environment to facilitate research and development, studies and analyses of all areas of higher temperature advanced materials research and development $564,000
Alliance for NanoHealth, Houston, TX, to facilitate the translation of nanotechnology from the laboratory to clinical practice $846,000
Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences in Fayetteville, AR, for research and technology $267,900
Baylor Physical Sciences Laboratory enhancement at Baylor University $658,000
Bio-Info-Nano Research and Development Institute at University of California, Santa Cruz $282,000
Burlington County College Science Learning Center $1,504,000
Center for Sustainable Life Support for Human Space Exploration $376,000
Chesapeake Information Based Aeronautics Consortium, Maryland, for a partnership of Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State University, MD, for continued aviation safety research and development $3,572,000
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, for equipment $267,900
Connecticut State University, City of New Britain, CT, for an initiative to bring greater awareness of mechanical engineering and aerospace disciplines to disadvantaged high school students $133,950
Development of photovoltaic capacity at Plum Brook Station $1,175,000
Distance learning program at Fairmont State University $846,000
Educational Advancement Alliance Math, Science, and Technology Program $1,880,000
Expansion of the Cimmarusti/NASA Science Center Teacher Training and Science Education Outreach Program $235,000
Flight Research Training Center, Roswell, NM, for program to detect, mitigate and recover from loss of control accidents in aircraft $1,786,000
Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, for the West Michigan Science and Technology Institute's Biosciences Research and Commercialization Project $133,950
Gulf Coast Exploreum, Mobile, AL, to stimulate increased enrollment in engineering, mathematics, and science in Alabama's universities by instructing and inspiring K-12 students in the fundamentals and application of these fields $235,000
Human-Robot Teams at Texas A&M University $705,000
Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, use earth observations to investigate the effect of land management decisions $141,000
Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo, HI, for operations $1,339,500
Independent Verification and Validation research program $540,500
Institute for NanoBio Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, for breakthrough research in nano-bio technologies $1,786,000
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL, for a tool for educators to allow their students to reach their full potential through participation in exciting hands on projects. The projects are dynamic in scope and are structured to be less time restrictive on the classroom schedule and the educator though self-directed curriculum $235,000
K-12 Science Education Enhancements at Middle Tennessee State University $94,000
Large Millimeter Telescope at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst $705,000
Lorna Linda University Space Radiation Health Research Program $2,444,000
Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, Houston, TX, to bring extensive learning opportunities to teachers, students and youth organizations throughout our Nation utilizing educational technology with Web casting, two-way videoconferencing and the Internet. The program seeks to inspire the next generation of explorers that would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience space exploration $282,000
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, to develop a cost effective nuclear power system to support the long-range objectives of NASA for missions to the moon, to Mars and to deep space $1,645,000
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, to help NASA/MSFC accomplish its current and future missions by providing critical information on composite materials as they relate to the NASA space exploration programs $1,410,000
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, to produce a common intelligent sensor module through the near-term development of the sensor technologies and integration algorithms necessary for on-orbit assembly and other AR&D missions $1,175,000
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, to provide a secure, retrievable storage solution for Marshall's Data Center that will meet all Presidential Directives $940,000
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, to provide critical, breakthrough technology to NASA for materials development, testing, and safety improvements to the Space Shuttle and Ares launch systems $1,175,000
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, to support the ongoing technology maturation program for liquid oxygen/liquid methane propulsion technology $470,000
Marshall University, Huntington, WV, to support NASA-related composites training at the Composites Technology and Training Institute in Bridgeport, WV $2,232,500
Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Baltimore, MD, for continued construction of a broadband link between the Wallops Island Flight Facility and the Patuxent River Naval Air Station $3,572,000
McWane Science Center, Birmingham, AL, for a program will focus on increasing interest and aptitude in the science fields in K-12 students through hands-on activities that will serve as an extension of the classrooms. Teacher training will also play a major role $235,000
Micronauts Education Simulator at Wheeling Jesuit University $282,000
Mid-Atlantic Cooperative, Danville, VA, for installation of broadband on the Eastern Shore of Virginia $1,786,000
Mid-Atlantic Institute for Space Technology, Pocomoke City, MD, for UAV testing and certification $223,250
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, VA, for infrastructure improvements to launch facilities $223,250
Morehouse College Project Mars Program $188,000
Nano/Micro Devices Laboratory at the University of Alabama-Huntsville $611,000
NASA Exchange City Learning Lab $188,000
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, for computer operations and improvements $564,000
National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law, University, MS, to provide legal research and outreach on critical space and aviation law issues $2,820,000
National Youth Science Foundation $258,500
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, for the Southern New Mexico Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy for a space education program to meet the math and science learning needs of under-represented K-12 students $178,600
Pittsburgh Engineering Initiatives, Pittsburgh, PA, to further development of regenerative treatments for astronauts $267,900
Research on Aviation Training at Middle Tennessee State University $470,000
Robotic Exploration Technologies in Astrobiology, Global Undersea Research Unit, University of Alaska, Fairbanks $282,000
Robotics and Exploration Testbed at Marshall Space Center $4,089,000
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, for a Integrated Sensing Systems Testbed (ISST) to develop, demonstrate, and validate advanced techniques for situational awareness $178,600
Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy at York College $188,000
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Center at Tennessee Tech University $752,000
Southeast Missouri St at e University, Cape Girardeau, MO, Enhancement of K-12 teaching and learning of sciences, math, and technology among schools, teachers, and students $846,000
Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, AL, for the development of laboratory-based test methods and test standards for coupon and component level characterization; development of subcomponent testing capabilities for material, component and system characterization; development and qualification of modeling and simulation techniques for these applications; and development of an integrated modeling and testing approach for evaluation and optimization of new material concepts $940,000
Space Engineering Institute at Texas A&M University $352,500
St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, for immunology research that will complement NASA research on the immune system in micro gravity $846,000
Stennis Space Center, MS, to continue a longstanding technology/industry partnership in assisting in transitioning space technologies into the commercial sector $3,760,000
Stennis Space Center, MS, to support infrastructure improvements for Crew Exploration Vehicle testing $2,820,000
Teach for America, New York, NY to engage teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics $2,350,000
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Minority NASA Science Initiative $940,000
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, for ongoing applied polymer technology research and development that links NASA with Louisiana's polymer industry and the State's academic polymer research programs $446,500
U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL, for completion of a long overdue update for the museum and exhibits will provide a more stimulating and effective presentation of the history of our nation's space exploration efforts and will serve to stimulate increased interest in science and technology $470,000
University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, to provide research that will provide both fundamental insight into the combustion behavior of this fuel with liquid oxygen which will assist in realizing its full performance potential and will train the next generation of propulsion scientists and engineers who will work for or support NASA in implementing the chosen engine designs $1,410,000
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, to conduct the fundamental and applied research needed to develop effective near-space technologies for station-keeping $470,000
University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, to continue the establishment of the Center at NASA Ames Research Center in collaboration with UC Santa Cruz $446,500
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, for technology that assists trauma victims without immediate access to emergency medical care, including astronauts $1,222,000
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD, for environmental remote sensing $1,786,000
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, for the Maryland Institute for Dextrous Robotics for the creation of a new generation robotic technology for space exploration $2,679,000
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, to help establish a degree program in space and telecommunications law $1,786,000
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, lA, to improve the use of geospatial data by State and local governments $613,000
University of Redlands Education Technology Progr am $470,000
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, for the UVM Center for Advanced Computing $1,700,000
Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, to help make data received from NASA satellite images accessible to the public for management decisions $2,679,000
Utah State University Research Foundation, Logan, UT, to develop a modern infrared calibration capability for current and future remote sensing instruments $376,000
Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV, to expand the reach of the HealthWV program, an electronic medical records system $2,679,000
Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, to improve facilities and equipment at the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP), which provides shared-database methodology addressing material, structural, manufacturing, and repair qualification processes for use of affordable polymeric composite materials in commercial and military applications $329,000
Women in Science and Engineering Scholars Program at Spelman College $188,000