Status Report

Explanatory Statement for the Senate Substitute Continuing Resolution (NASA Excerpts)

By SpaceRef Editor
March 12, 2013
Filed under ,
Explanatory Statement for the Senate Substitute Continuing Resolution (NASA Excerpts)

Full docuement – with budget charts

Pages 54 – 64


This Act includes $17,862,000,000 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A table of specific funding allocations for NASA is delineated below, and additional detail may be found under the relevant account headings.


This Act includes $5,144,000,000 for Science.

Earth Science.–$1,785,000,000 is for Earth Science, and language from the Senate report on carbon monitoring is adopted by reference.

Planetary Science.–$1,415,000,000 is for Planetary Science, including $192,000,000 for Planetary Science Research, $243,980,000 for Discovery, $175,000,000 for New Frontiers, $450,800,000 for Mars Exploration and $159,000,000 for Outer Planets.

Within the amount provided for Mars Exploration, $146,400,000 is for the continued development of the MAVEN mission, $65,000,000 is for operation of the Mars Science Laboratory and $239,400,000 is for other Mars activities, including the formulation of a future Mars mission that is responsive to the scientific goals of the most recent planetary science decadal survey and the potential completion of instrumentation or other contributions to international Mars exploration efforts. Direction provided in H.R. 5326 of the 112th Congress and the House report on submitting future Mars mission concepts to the National Research Council for review does not apply to the Mars funding provided herein.

Within the amount provided for Outer Planets, $75,000,000 shall be for pre-formulation and/or formulation activities in support of a mission that achieves the scientific goals laid out in the Jupiter Europa section of the most recent planetary science decadal survey. These activities include, but are not limited to, concept studies and concept development, technology development and requirements definition.

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).–$628,000,000 is for JWST and all JWST language from the House report and the Senate report is adopted by reference. There is commitment to this important program and to providing strong, continuing oversight to ensure that it remains on track.

Astrophysics.–$669,000,000 is for Astrophysics, including $10,000,000 for preformulation and/or formulation activities for a mission that meets the science goals of the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope as described in the most recent astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey. Language from the Senate report regarding the Hubble Space Telescope and the Explorer Program is adopted by reference, and language from the House report regarding NASA’s planned contributions to the European Space Agency’s Euclid program is not adopted. Heliophysics.–$647,000,000 is for Heliophysics and language from the Senate report regarding the Explorer Program, Magnetospheric MultiScale mission and Solar Probe Plus is adopted by reference.


This Act includes $570,000,000 for Aeronautics. Language from the House report on entry, descent and landing technology development and hypersonic research is adopted by reference.


This Act includes $642,000,000 for Space Technology. All funds under this heading should be prioritized toward the continuation of ongoing programs and activities that were funded in fiscal year 2012.

Satellite servicing.–Language from the Senate report on satellite servicing is adopted by reference.


This Act includes $3,887,000,000 for Exploration.

Space Launch System (SLS) funding.–A total of $2,119,400,000 is for SLS; $1,857,000,000 of this funding is provided under the “Exploration” heading, including $1,454,200,000 for SLS vehicle development and $402,800,000 for Exploration Ground Systems (EGS). This funding level is sufficient for NASA to meet all upcoming SLS and EGS program milestones.

In accordance with an agreement previously reached between NASA and the Committees, the display of SLS funds and their distribution among budget accounts has changed from fiscal year 2012. For purposes of enabling multi-year comparisons, the table below shows the fiscal year 2012 and 2013 SLS vehicle development and EGS budgets in both the fiscal year 2012 appropriations structure and the fiscal year 2013 appropriations structure.

SLS vehicle development.– Support for NASA’s evolvable SLS development approach, which will provide a 70 ton SLS configuration by 2017 and build to a 130 ton configuration as work is completed on an upper stage and advanced booster system, is reiterated. However, NASA is urged to identify and implement ways to accelerate the schedule for the attainment of the 130 ton configuration. To enable better congressional oversight of NASA’s progress, language from the House report regarding requirements for quarterly SLS funding reports is adopted by reference.

EGS.–It is noted that EGS funds are intended for SLS-related ground operations. Additional funding for non-SLS ground operations activities is provided under the “Space Operations” heading.

Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) funding.–A total of $1,200,310,000 is for the Orion MPCV, which is to be launched on the SLS in furtherance of NASA’s beyond Earth orbit exploration goals and to provide an alternate means of emergency access to the International Space Station (ISS). Within the amounts provided for the Orion MPCV, $1,197,000,000 is provided under the “Exploration” heading. This funding level is sufficient for NASA to meet all upcoming Orion MPCV milestones, including a planned flight test in 2014.

Similar to the SLS, the distribution of Orion MPCV funds across budget accounts has changed from fiscal year 2012. The chart below displays all Orion MPCV funding in both the fiscal year 2012 appropriations structure and the fiscal year 2013 appropriations structure.

Cost caps.–The human exploration program should be managed under cost caps based on NASA’s analysis and the completed Independent Cost Assessment (ICA). Within 60 days of the enactment of this Act, NASA shall report to the Committees on Appropriations on planned milestones; expected performance and configurations; planned ground and flight testing programs; and deliverables for SLS, EGS and the Orion MPCV. As part of this report, NASA shall validate the funding levels established by the ICA for SLS, EGS and the Orion MPCV as potential cost caps through fiscal year 2017 or recommend and justify alternate cost caps for each program element.

Exploration destinations and goals.–Language from the House report regarding mission goals for the test flights of SLS and the Orion MPCV currently scheduled for 2017 and 2021 is adopted by reference.

Commercial crew.–$525,000,000 is for the Commercial Crew Program (CCP). This funding, which will support the continuation of the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase and the awarding of Certification Products Contracts, is intended to promote the safest, fastest and most cost-effective reestablishment of a domestic means of access to the ISS. It is expected that CCP activity beyond the CCiCap base period will be funded via Federal Acquisition Regulation-based contracts and that NASA will take all necessary steps to ensure that these contracts can be smoothly awarded with minimal disruption to programmatic progress. NASA is also expected to maintain rigorous oversight of the program and its private sector partners to ensure that all necessary safety standards are being met and all appropriate safeguards for taxpayer interests are being implemented.


This Act includes $3,953,000,000 for Space Operations.

ISS.–$2,958,000,000 is for ISS operations, research and cargo supply and adopts, by reference, language from the Senate report regarding satellite servicing activities. Language in the House report requiring NASA to provide a report on options for shortterm emergency access to the ISS is adopted by reference. This report shall be provided no later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act.

Launch services.–Concern remains about potential shortages in both the small- and medium-class launch vehicle markets. Such shortages would threaten both the schedules and budgets for NASA science missions. NASA is directed to continue monitoring its options in both markets and to ensure that management plans for projects in these classes appropriately reflect the risks resulting from uncertainty in launch vehicle availability and pricing.

Space and Flight Support.– $925,000,000 is for Space and Flight Support, including the full requested level for Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System replacement and the 21st Century Space Launch Complex (21CSLC) program. The 21CSLC funds are available for the modification and modernization of launch infrastructure not exclusively used for SLS, including NASA-owned facilities for launch vehicles serving NASA missions and facilities scheduled to launch cargo to the ISS.

Language from the House report regarding strategic planning for upgrades and modernization of the Wallops Flight Facility is adopted by reference.


This Act includes $125,000,000 for Education.

Aerospace Research and Career Development.–$40,000,000 is for the National Space Grant College program, and $18,000,000 is for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Language from the Senate report regarding the distribution of Space Grant funding to states and jurisdictions is not adopted.

Informal education.–$10,000,000 is for a competitive grant program to fund informal education programs that develop STEM education activities, including exhibits, at qualifying institutions as described in section 616 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155), and/or at NASA Visitors Centers.

K-12 STEM education and youth service organizations.–It is noted that NASA’s Office of Education, mission directorates and centers are involved in multiple efforts to engage K-12 students in STEM-related activities and competitions, in order to help encourage students to pursue future STEM-related studies and careers. Much of NASA’s work in this area has been accomplished through partnerships with youth service organizations, including those with a nationwide footprint. These efforts both augment and leverage the resources and reach of these organizations, helping to bring practical STEM applications to a wider group of young participants. NASA is commended for these efforts, which are an effective way to help build a strong and vibrant future STEM workforce, which in turn helps ensure a strong, globally competitive U.S. economy. NASA is directed, within funds provided both in this account and throughout the NASA budget, to expand the agency’s K-12 STEM education efforts with youth service organizations and to report to the Committees on Appropriations within 180 days of enactment on these efforts.


This Act includes $2,823,000,000 for Cross Agency Support.

Cybersecurity.–Language from the Senate report regarding cybersecurity is adopted by reference.

Comprehensive independent assessment.–Language from the House report regarding NASA’s response to a comprehensive independent assessment of the agency conducted by the National Research Council is adopted by reference.


This Act includes $680,000,000 for Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration. Within the amounts provided, $60,000,000 is for Environmental Compliance and Restoration, $329,200,000 is for Institutional Construction of Facilities (CoF) and $265,710,000 is for Exploration CoF, including $3,310,000 for the Orion MPCV and $142,000,000 for SLSrelated test facilities.


This Act includes $38,000,000 for the Office of Inspector General. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

This Act includes the following administrative provisions for NASA:

* a provision that makes funds for announced prizes available without fiscal year limitation until the prize is claimed or the offer is withdrawn;

* a provision that establishes terms and conditions for the transfer of funds;

* a provision that subjects the NASA spending plan and specified changes to that spending plan to reprogramming procedures under section 505 of this Act; and

* a provision that allows NASA to retain within its Working Capital Fund refunds or rebates received through NASA’s credit card programs.

SpaceRef staff editor.