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Highlights from the President's FY15 NASA Budget Request

March 06, 2014

FY14 enacted funding is used for NASA comparisons, unless otherwise noted.

The president’s FY15 budget request for NASA totals $17.5 billion in discretionary funding and prioritizes research and development that has the potential to bolster long-term space exploration. Major priorities of the proposed budget include extending the life of the International Space Station to 2024 and institutionalizing partnerships with the commercial space industry.

The proposed budget would allocate $4.9 million (4 percent decrease) 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:

  • Earth Science — $1.8 billion (no change) for improved climate modeling, weather prediction, and natural hazard mitigation, through Earth observation from space;
  • Planetary Science — $1.3 billion (no change) to explore the planetary bodies of our solar system;
  • Astrophysics — $607 million (10 percent decrease) to scan the universe and search for earth-like planets; and,
  • Heliophysics — $669 million (2 percent increase) to study the influence of the sun on our solar system.

Science Mission Directorate funding would provide $645 million (2 percent decrease) for the continued development of the James Webb Space Telescope, which is slated for a 2018 launch.

NASA’s Human Exploration Operations budget would be $7.8 billion (no change) and allocate $3 billion to expand the life of the International Space Station and $848 million to support Commercial Spaceflight partnerships, including the Commercial Crew Program, which funds efforts for NASA certification of U.S.-based commercial space service providers to become official partners. The budget would provide $250 million to accelerate the development and certification of those partnerships as part of the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative. An additional $343.4 million would be allocated for Exploration Research and Development, supporting the development of foundational technologies that support future exploration missions.

NASA’s Education programs would be restructured under the president’s budget proposal, and would receive $89 million (31 percent decrease) to support the administration’s five-year federal strategic plan on STEM education. NASA Education funding would include:

  • Space Grants — $24 million (66 percent decrease) to provide NASA-related education opportunities to a  national network of universities and colleges;
  • EPSCoR — $9 million (50 percent decrease) to provide competitive NASA-related research opportunities to eligible higher education institutions;
  • MUREP — $30 million (no change) to provide financial assistance to the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander – Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and eligible community colleges; and, 
  • SEAP — $26 million (11 percent decrease) to support a competitive process to identify and implement NASA education initiatives.

The budget would provide $15 million for NASA to competitively fund the best application of its research assets to improve STEM education.

The budget would provide $3.1 billion for the International Space Station (ISS), including $100 million for promoting the ISS as a tool for STEM education.

The proposed budget for NASA Space Technology is $706 million (18 percent increase) to fund innovations that have the potential to support the country’s space exploration and scientific research goals. Funding would include $257 million for Exploration Technology Development to pursue high-powered solar electric propulsion capability and invest in capabilities needed to support long-range human space exploration; $191 million for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs to support small business R&D through competitively awarded contracts; and, $257 million for Crosscutting Space Technology Development to conduct satellite and spacecraft launches, implement space-to-ground laser communication tests, and conduct supersonic demonstration of descent and landing technologies.


fy15budget, nasa, federal agency, federal budget