House Releases Compromise Bill

Rep. Bart Gordon has released a compromise NASA funding bill that provides $1.2 billion for commercial crew efforts, an increase from the $464 million in the original House bill. This is short of the $1.6 billion in the Senate version.

Details of the bill after the break.

SUMMARY OF COMPROMISE NASA BILL

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Authorizes appropriations consistent with the President’s top line requests for Fiscal Years 2011 – 2013 ($19 billion in FY 2011, $19.45 billion in FY 2012, and $19.96 billion in FY 2013)
  • Funding authorized for NASA in each of FYs 11-13 is lower than that authorized for NASA in FY 2009.
  • Pay-as-you-go approach to human exploration to ensure progress even in the face of future budgetary constraints.

Human Spaceflight and Exploration

  • Provides for assured government backup access to the Int’l Space Station to ensure its continued operations and utilization should commercial cargo and/or crew services be delayed or unavailable, but prohibits the government capability from competing with the commercial providers for routine ISS cargo and crew delivery services
  • Provides for the development of a follow-on human space flight and exploration system capable of exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and that leverages previous investments in the Orion, Ares, and Shuttle programs
  • Authorizes the additional launch-on-need (STS-135) Shuttle flight
  • Invests $150 million over three years in the Robotic Precursor program

Commercial Crew and Cargo

  • Provides $1.2 billion over 3 years for commercial cargo and crew capability development activities
  • In addition, provides $2.1 billion for follow-on commercial resupply services (CRS) cargo delivery contract
  • Provides the Administrator with the flexibility to fully fund the proposed Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program augmentation if needed

International Space Station (ISS)

  • Authorizes the operation and utilization of the International Space Station through at least 2020
  • Establishes, through competitive selection, an entity to manage ISS National Laboratory research
  • Provides increased funding to help reinvigorate space life and physical sciences research and technology that will both address key challenges in human exploration of outer space and provide societal benefits

Space Technology

  • Invests $2.67 billion to revitalize NASA’s Space Technology program, including $1.19 billion over three years for Exploration Technology Development.
  • Authorizes $15 million in each of Fiscal Years 2011- 2013 in a commercial reusable suborbital research (CRuSR) program to support scientific, technology development, and educational activities.

Science and Aeronautics

  • Fully authorizes the President’s request for Earth sciences
  • Authorizes an increase over the President’s request for space science to augment the Explorer and Suborbital programs, which provide important student educational and training opportunities.
  • Increases funding for Aeronautics to support R&D on safety, NextGen, “green” aviation technologies, etc.

Education

  • Authorizes increases of $34.2 million over the President’s request for each of fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013 to restore funding to the Space Grant, EPSCoR, and Minority University Research & Education (MUREP) programs

Other Matters

  • Provides an 18-month RIF moratorium
  • Includes “good government” provisions on information security, cost management, counterfeit parts, near-Earth object surveys, space weather monitoring, and revitalization and realignment of NASA’s institutional capabilities.

SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON OF THE COMPROMISE TEXT AND THE BILL AS REPORTED BY COMMITTEE

OVERALL FUNDING

  • Both bills provide a total of $58.4 billion in funding for NASA.

SCIENCE

  • Both bills provide a total of $15.86 billion for Space and Earth Science

AERONAUTICS

  • Both bills provide a total of $1.79 billion for Aeronautics

SPACE TECHNOLOGY

  • H.R. 5781 provided a total of $2.64 billion for Space Technology, and was silent on the amounts being provided for Exploration Technology Development in that account; $5 million was included for Exploration Technology Development in the Exploration account.
  • The Compromise Bill provides a total of $2.67 billion for Space Technology, of which a total of $1.19 billion will be for Exploration Technology Development.
  • Both bills provide $15 million per year for the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) program.

ROBOTIC PRECURSORS

  • H.R. 5781 provided a total of $5 million for Robotic Precursors.
  • The Compromise Bill provides a total of $150 million for Robotic Precursors.

EXPLORATION

  • • H.R. 5781 provided a total of $13.18 billion for the Restructured Exploration program, including ground operations and launch infrastructure investments. It also separately included a total of $150 million for the 21st Century Launch Complex initiative.
  • The Compromise Bill provides a total of $12.21 billion for the Space Launch System, Crew Vehicle, and associated activities, of which a total of $1.33 billion is provided for a NASA Launch Support and Infrastructure Modernization program.

COMMERCIAL CARGO AND CREW DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

  • H.R. 5781 provided a total of $464 million for commercial cargo and crew development activities.
  • The Compromise Bill provides a total of $1.212 billion for commercial cargo and crew development activities.

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

  • H.R. 5781 provided a total of $9 billion for the ISS.
  • The Compromise bill provides a total of $8.9 billion for the ISS.
  • Both bills provide a total of $275 million for ISS research.

ADDITIONAL SHUTTLE FLIGHT

  • The Compromise bill provides $600 million in FY 2011 for an additional “Launch on Need” (STS-135) Shuttle flight.

EDUCATION

  • H.R. 5781 provided a total of $437.4 million for Education.
  • The Compromise Bill provides a total of $540 million for Education.

  • Nickolai_the_Russian_Guy

    It’s better but I still say not enough. This attempt to “leverage previous investments in the Orion, Ares, and Shuttle programs” seems to be more expensive than ditching everything and start afresh. It sounds nice, but the realities are that Shuttle was designed to fulfill the role of the shuttle, Orion was designed to fill the role of Orion, and Ares was designed to fulfill the role of Ares! Trying to repurpose them to new roles seems like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole – it’ll work but it won’t be pretty.

  • usko

    I’ve been trying to compare this to the senate bill and from what I can tell it seems to increase funding for Comercial, R&D, HLV compared to the senate version.

    Am I completely wrong?

  • Nickolai_the_Russian_Guy

    Look at the first paragraph of the article

  • usko

    I thought it was too good to be true.