Press Release

AIP FYI # 95 Senate Appropriations Report Language on NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
July 25, 2001
Filed under ,

As reported in FYI #94, Senate appropriators have now marked up
the FY 2002 VA/HUD funding bill. This bill recommends $14,561.4
million for NASA. This represents an increase of $276.1 million
(1.9 percent) over current-year funding, and $50.0 million (0.4
percent) over President Bush’s request. It is less of an
increase, however, than the $14,926.4 million recommended by
VA/HUD appropriators in the House (see FYI #88). The House
committee report is not yet available.

OFFICE OF SPACE SCIENCE:

For space science, the committee made a number of changes to the
requested amount of $2,786.4 million, including several earmarks.
It appears that the committee bill would decrease funding
somewhat from the request. Some of the major changes to the
request, with explanatory quotes from the committee report, are
listed below:

Mars Surveyor (future Surveyor projects) would be reduced by
$50.0 million, “subject to a detailed plan on future Mars
missions beyond the proposed 2007 mission….”

“Focused research and technology for the Europa Orbiter/X-2000
program” would be decreased by $48.6 million, while an increase
of $43.6 million would be provided “for focused research and
technology for a consolidated future outer planets program in
which all missions, including the Europa Orbiter, are to be
competed through a full and open announcement of opportunity….
NASA should proceed with the selection of Europa science
instruments as planned….”

Sun-Earth connections (SEC) focused research for the Solar Probe
mission would be increased by $5.0 million, with directions for
NASA to “consolidate management for this mission with its
existing SEC/Living With a Star program in lieu of the proposed
termination.” An increase of $20.0 million is recommended “for
focused research and technology for Sun-Earth connections (SEC)
for the Future Living With A Star (LWS) program, restoring the
program to the funding profile in the 2001 budget. The Committee
believes that understanding solar variability and its effect on
earth and mankind is of paramount importance as we strive to
understand our galaxy.”

“The Committee recommends the budget request of $92.1 million [no
change] for advanced technology development related to the Next
Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and expects NASA to vigorously
pursue the development of the NGST…with the goal of a launch in
2007.”

The bill would increase the funding for the Pluto Kuiper Express
(PKE) mission by $25.0 million. “The Committee has deferred,
without prejudice, the inclusion of full funding for the PKE. It
has, however, included $25,000,000 for it by eliminating the
proposed $25,000,000 for the ‘quick sprint to Pluto’ propulsion
initiative contained in the core research and technology line for
solar system exploration…. [T]he Committee expects to address
the issue of full funding for PKE in Conference.”

FY 2001 funding for the Office of Space Science was $2,321.0
million.

OFFICE OF EARTH SCIENCE:

Again, the committee made a number of changes to the requested
amount of $1,515.0 million, many in the form of earmarks. It
appears that funding would be increased over the request. Some
of the major changes to the request are listed below with
explanatory quotes from the report:

The bill would provide an increase of $31.1 million “for the
EOSDIS program element.” Within this element, an increase of
$40.0 million is recommended for the EOSDIS Core System and
funding for the EOS Federation would be reduced by $8.9 million.

The bill would provide an increase of $7.5 million “for EOS
Follow-on projects for the tropospheric (global) winds mission
only, to be acquired through a commercial data purchase only.
The Committee takes notable exception to NASA’s refusal to abide
by Congressional directive in last year’s conference report
directing the Agency to initiate an RFP for such a date purchase.
In fact, the Committee is dismayed that NASA has allocated these
funds apparently for trade studies on the subject, ignoring the
compelling requirement to proceed with this mission.”

The report also states, “the Committee expects NASA to develop a
long-term plan to partner with U.S. universities and industry in
a variety of NASA-related science research, including research
related to nanotechnology, information technology and remote
sensing. These are all areas of investment that have a
commercial application that will have an increasing impact on
society, the economy, and quality of life.”

FY 2001 funding for the Office of Earth Science was $1,484.6
million.

OFFICE OF BIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL RESEARCH:

The FY 2002 request for this office was $360.9 million, and
included the recommendation that space station research funding
be transferred to this office. The bill would provide an
additional $50.0 million over the request, as follows: “The
Committee has transferred the Space Station research program to
the Office of Biological and Physical Research as requested by
NASA and the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, the
Committee has increased funding for Space Station research by
$50,000,000 over the budget request for a total of $333,600,000
for Space Station research.” Total funding for this office would
grow to $410.9 million.

The report continues, “In previous years, the Committee has
expressed its intent that scientific research remain one of
NASA’s top priorities. However, delays in the construction of
the Station and NASA reliance of the Shuttle for ISS construction
have significantly reduced the opportunities for life and
microgravity research. Therefore, the Committee directs NASA to
include as part of its study of the ISS research program,
opportunities for space-based life and microgravity research
earlier in the ISS program, including, but not limited to, flying
research payloads on Shuttle missions to the ISS, using extended
duration orbiters and building ISS research facilities.”

FY 2001 funding for the Office of Biological and Physical
Research was $312.9 million.

HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT, INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION:

Human Space Flight would receive $6,868.0 million, less than the
FY 2002 request but more than FY 2001 funding. Within this
account, $1,681.3 million would be provided for International
Space Station “development and operations. This funding level is
below the President’s request due to the transfer of Space
Station research funds from the Human Space Flight account to
[the Office of Biological and Physical Research] and a general
reduction of $150,000,000 from the Space Station budget…. The
Committee takes this general reduction without prejudice in light
of the construction delays and uncertainty over the Space
Station’s final design.”

The committee report contains extensive text regarding the latest
projections of cost overruns to the space station and its impact
on the number of crew and research capacity. This text, and
similar text from the House committee report, will be highlighted
in a separate FYI.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS:

Among NASA’s academic programs, the National Space Grant College
and Fellowship Program would receive $19.1 million, equal to the
request and to current funding. NASA’s EPSCoR program would
receive $10.0 million, more than the request but equal to current
funding. Minority university research and education activities
would receive the requested level of $82.1 million, $26.2 million
greater than FY 2001 funding. The committee added many earmarks
to this section as well.

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Audrey T. Leath

Public Information Division

The American Institute of Physics

fyi@aip.org

(301) 209-3094

http://www.aip.org/gov

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SpaceRef staff editor.