Status Report

NASA GRC: Funding in jeopardy for Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP)

By SpaceRef Editor
July 31, 2002
Filed under ,

Original online at

This posting is to alert those researchers who were planning
to submit a proposal to the Fall 2002 call for BPP proposals, that this
solicitation must now be put on hold, pending resolution of future budgets.

The budget for the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project is being
cut.  Not only are all future years’ budgets in question, but also
21% of the funds already allocated for this year have been requested to
be withdrawn.  It is uncertain if these reductions will be repaired.

IMPACT to BPP Research:


  • No further research solicitations:  These cuts prevent any
    future calls for proposals for BPP research.
  • No in-house research:  These cuts prevent the re-establishment
    of NASA Glenn Research Center’s (GRC) in-house BPP research.  Due
    to the dwindling capability to keep current on emerging research and methods,
    steps were underway to re-establish the GRC in-house capability.


  • BPP Consortium (basic operation):  The Consortium, operated
    by the non-profit Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) (see “Implementation”
    section of the BPP Project Plan) is funded through FY03, with the exception
    of funding for the research solicitations.  Primary activities to
    • Advisory Council
    • Build-up of BPP Databases
  • BPP Document Control Services:  The service contractor to maintain
    the documentation for the BPP Project is funded through FY03.  This
    covers: Project reports, databases, and correspondence; developing and
    utilizing the “standard replies” for dealing with the large volume of BPP
    correspondence; and providing research assistance (journal articles, abstracts,
    papers, bibliographic information, etc.) to support BPP research requests.


The OAI BPP Consortium is configured to be able to receive non-NASA
funds, such as from DOD, DOE, Industry sponsors, or philanthropists. 
For more information about supporting the BPP Consortium, contact:

Curtis L. Smith

Program Manager

Ohio Aerospace Institute

22800 Cedar Point Rd.

Brookpark, OH. 44142

Phone: 440-962-3131

Fax: 440-962-3120


The reason behind these actions has still not been passed down from
managagment.  The only thing that seems clear is that the cuts were
not BPP-specific, but broader across all revolutionary space transportation
research.  It is not yet clear if such research was deemed no longer
suitable for NASA’s scope, not affordable, or if there were objections
about how such research was being managed.



While answering inquiries from a Forbes Magazine Editor about
BPP-type investments by the Government, the following data was compiled. 
(Note, the data on items 2 & 3 are only estimates)

(1) NASA GRC, BPP Project:

Term: Since 1996

Total budget over the 7 years = $1.7M

Planned annual future budget, approx. $600K/year (not yet approved)

Number of tasks supported: 8 (6 done, 2 still open)

Number of resulting journal articles: 6

(2) NASA MSFC test of Podkeltnov’s “Gravity Shield Claim”:

Term: Since 1996

Total budget over the 7 years = $1.4M

Planned annual future budget, -0- (?)

Number of tasks supported: 1 (still open)

Number of resulting journal articles: 1

(3) Congressional Earmarks to WV’s Institute for Software Research:

(Earmark by: Alan Mollohan, WV; and Robert (Bud) Cramer, AL)

Term: Since 2000

Total budget over the 3 years = $4.75M

Planned annual future budget, -0- (?)

Number of tasks supported: 2 or 3 ? (still open)

Number of resulting journal articles: -0- (at least one submitted)


[Go Back to Breakthrough
Propulsion Physics home page



Responsible Official for Content:  Marc G. Millis

Curator:  Jean Schuerger, QSS Group, Inc.

Updated: July-31-2002

SpaceRef staff editor.