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Highlights from the President's FY17 NASA Budget Request

February 12, 2016

FY16 enacted funding is used for NASA comparisons, unless otherwise noted.
Under the president’s FY17 budget request, NASA would receive $19 billion (1.6 percent decrease). For a number of programs, FY16 comparisons are unavailable because NASA’s FY16 operation plan has not been finalized. Priority items in the NASA budget include the development of technologies that make future space programs more affordable and capable, continued support for the Webb Telescope, and developments to catalyze growth in the American commercial space industry.

The proposed budget would allocate $5.6 billion (0.2 percent increase) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, which supports research science, invests in advanced technologies, supports over 90 space missions, and maintains partnerships with a dozen other federal agencies and 60 other nations. Funding would include:

  • $2.0 billion for Earth Science, including a plan to continue the 43-year Landsat record of global land-imaging measurements;
  • $1.5 billion for Planetary Science, keeping the Mars 2020 rover on track and supporting the next selection for the New Frontiers program, including formulation of a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa;
  • $781.5 million for Astrophysics, which provides continued support for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Explorers Program, and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST);
  • $698.7 million for Heliophysics, supporting the launches of two Explorer missions this decade, in addition to research to improve space weather modeling; and,

Science Mission Directorate funding would also provide $569 million (8.2 percent decrease) for the James Webb Space Telescope, allowing it to maintain its plans for a 2018 launch.

The president’s proposed FY17 budget would provide $790.4 million (23.5 percent increase) in funding for Aeronautics Research, supported in part by mandatory funding including funding from the 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan. Programs receiving funding for Aeronautics Research include:

  • $159.4 million for Airspace Operations and Safety Program, working to develop and explore fundamental concepts, algorithms, and technologies that increase throughput and efficiency of the National Airspace System;
  • $298.6 million for Advanced Air Vehicles Program, developing tools, technologies, and concepts that enable new generations of civil aircraft that are safer, more energy efficient, and have a smaller environmental footprint;
  • $210 million for the Integrated Aviation Systems Program, focusing on experimental flight research by focusing on integrated systems; and,
  • $122.3 million for the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program, cultivating multi-disciplinary research to create new technologies around aviation.

NASA’s Human Exploration Operations budget would be $8.4 billion (7.1 percent decrease) under the president’s proposed FY17 budget, which includes $3.3 billion (17.2 percent decrease) for exploration and $5.1 billion for space operations. Within the Human Exploration Operations budget, $477.3 million (36.4 percent increase) would go toward exploration research and development in two areas.  Advanced Exploration Systems, which focuses on developing exploration technologies applicable to multiple missions and destinations, would receive $324.1 million, while the Human Research Program, which researches the effects of spaceflights on humans, would receive $153.3 million. Within the AES funding stream, the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission would receive $66.7 million to focus on asteroid redirection research. Programs funded through the $5.1 billion going toward Space Operations include $1.4 billion for the International Space Station, $2.8 billion for space transportation, and $887.4 million for Space and Flight Support.

A total of $826.7 million in the budget would go toward Space Technology, a 20.4 percent increase. Within Space Technology, three programs would receive funding:

  • $34.3 million for Agency Technology and Innovation, providing strategy and leadership to support technology transfer and technology commercializing activities;
  • $213 million for SBIR and SSTR, to support early stage research performed by small businesses through competitively awarded contracts; and,
  • $579.4 million for Space Technology Research and Development, developing and demonstrating near-term and far-reaching technological solutions and enhancements.

Education programming under NASA would receive $100.1 million in the budget, a 13 percent decrease. The Aerospace Research and Career Development program would receive $33 million, comprised of $24 million (40 percent decrease) for the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, and $9 million (50 percent decrease) for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). STEM Education and Accountability programming makes up the remaining $67.1 million in proposed education funding, including $30 million for Minority University Research Education Projects and $37.1 million for STEM Education and Accountability Projects.

fy17budget, federal budget