Status Report

Message from the Administrator: NASA Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request — February 14, 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
February 14, 2011
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Message from the Administrator: NASA Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request — February 14, 2011

Subject: NASA Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request — February 14, 2011
From: Administrator Charles Bolden
Date: Monday, February 14, 2011

Today, we are releasing NASA’s fiscal year 2012 budget request. As NASA employees, you will be instrumental in implementing this budget and carrying out our important mission.

In order to win the future, we must out-educate, out-innovate and out build the rest of the world. And given your critical role in this bold endeavor, I wanted to discuss the budget with you before the public announcement.

Here are a few points I would like to share about NASA’s priorities under this budget request:

* We are announcing an $18.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2012 that requires us to live within our means, while making investments in our future.

* The budget supports all elements of our bi-partisan Authorization law enacted last year, including a reinvigorated path of innovation, technological development and scientific discovery.

* It includes $4.3 billion for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs, $5 billion for science, $3.9 billion for future exploration systems (includes $1.8 billion for Space Launch System (SLS) and $1 billion for Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV); $.8 billion for commercial crew) and $569 million for aeronautics research.

* The International Space Station will operate until at least 2020, allowing NASA to fully utilize it as a national laboratory for human health research and as a technology testbed.

* In these tight fiscal times, tough choices had to be made and NASA has prioritized funding for its partnership with the commercial space industry to facilitate crew and cargo transport to the station. Private companies will innovate to provide safe, reliable and cost effective access to low Earth orbit and they will be encouraged to develop commercial low Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

* NASA also will invest in the flight systems to take humans beyond low Earth orbit, including a deep space capsule (MPCV) and evolvable heavy lift rocket (SLS), and key research and technology to enable the long journeys.

* NASA’s science budget supports both new missions and the many space observatories and Earth observing systems successfully carrying out their work now.

* With the fiscal year 2012 budget request, NASA will continue its commitment to enhancing aviation safety and airspace efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact of aviation.

* NASA also is dedicated to developing the next generation of technology leaders through vital programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We’ve released our Strategic Plan today in tandem with this budget. It outlines the core vision, mission and values we will adhere to as we make the necessary changes to perform at an even higher level.

The NASA budget, Strategic Plan and supporting information will be available today at 1:30 p.m. EST at:

Today at 2 p.m. EST, I will be holding a news conference to brief the media on the agency’s fiscal year 2012 budget request. Chief Financial Officer Beth Robinson will join me. I encourage you to watch the briefing, which will be broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

I also will be hosting a special NASA Update with Deputy Administrator Lori Garver tomorrow, Tuesday, February 15, at 2 p.m. EST to discuss the budget request with agency employees and take your questions. Please join us for this important program, which will be broadcast internally throughout the agency.

Despite the challenges ahead, this responsible budget sets ambitious but achievable goals that foster America’s continued leadership in space and science exploration. It’s important for us to remember that here at NASA we reach for new heights to reveal the unknown so the things we learn and the things we do benefit all humankind. We DO BIG THINGS and by working together, we can win the future!

Charlie B.

SpaceRef staff editor.