Japan aerospace budget to be cut, research canceled in national fiscal reductions
A Japanese governmental advisory committee looking to cut billions of dollars worth of wasteful spending from the countryâ€™s 2010 fiscal year budget has recommended that specific funds to Japanâ€™s aerospace program (JAXA) be reduced, including a call to end research related to the development of a new rocket engine.
As part of a first round of recommendations for cuts and reductions that have amounted to 278.7 billion yen (approximately $3.1 billion USD), the committee on November 17th called for an end to research on the over-budget GX rocket engine, the Yomiuri reported. Requested funds for the 2010 fiscal year amounted to 5.8 billion yen (~$65 million USD).
The research on the GX engine began in 2003 with an anticipated cost of around 45 billion yen (~$502 million USD). However, current expected final costs for completion have ballooned three to four times that of the initial projection. Seventy billion yen (~$782 million USD) have already been spent on its development, and another 550 billion to 1,150 billion yen (~$614-$1,284 million USD) beyond that would likely be necessary, according to the Asahi. Such unanticipated costs even the Board of Audit of Japan had previously told JAXA was â€œinappropriate.â€
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