Senate’s NASA Funding Bill Provisions

DRAFT SENATE APPROPRIATIONS BILL
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

SUMMARY

The agreement provides $18.9 billion for NASA, $186 million above the Fiscal Year 2010 level and $90 million less than the President’s request. The total funding includes

  • $989.1 million for base Space Shuttle operations;
  • $2.7 billion for Space Station operations;
  • $825 million for an additional Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe, and for launch infrastructure for the heavy lift rocket;
  • $3 billion for development of the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle and the heavy lift launch vehicle;
  • $5 billion for science;
  • $580 million for aeronautics; and
  • $559 million for space and exploration technology research.

It funds the agreement embodied in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 to restructure NASA’s human spaceflight programs.  It funds increases in science and aeronautics research, provides for development of a new heavy lift launch vehicle and Orion crew capsule for exploring beyond low-Earth orbit, extends the life of the International Space Station through 2020, supports the burgeoning commercial space industry, invests in new technology development, and allows one additional Space Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe.

Editor’s Note: The Senate version includes $15 million to restart production of nuclear fuel to power deep-space probes and up to $60 million to assist workers affected by the end of the space shuttle program and changes in NASA’s exploration architecture.  The bill also includes a provision to carry over funding for unclaimed prizes.

FUNDING BREAKDOWN

EXPLORATION

  • $3,706,000,000

Provided,

  • That not less than $300,000,000 shall be for commercial cargo development,
  • not less than $250,000,000 shall be for commercial crew,
  • not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy lift launch vehicle system, and
  • not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the multipurpose crew vehicle:

Provided further, That the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons and that the upper stage and other core elements shall be developed simultaneously.

SPACE OPERATIONS

  • $5,247,900,000

Provided, That of the amounts provided under this heading,

  • $989,100,000 shall be for Space Shuttle operations, production, research, development, and support,
  • $2,745,000,000 shall be for International Space Station operations, production, research, development, and support, and
  • $688,800,000 shall be for Space and Flight Support:

Provided further, That funds made available under this heading in excess of those specified for Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Space and Flight support may be transferred to ‘‘Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration’’ for construction activities only at NASA owned facilities:

Provided further, That funds so transferred shall not be subject to section 505(a)(1) of this Act or to the transfer limitations described in the Administrative Provisions in this Act for NASA, and shall be available until September 30, 2015, only after notification of  such transfers to the Committees on Appropriations.

Provided further, That should the Administrator determine that the Smithsonian Institution is an appropriate venue for an orbiter, such orbiter shall be made available to the Smithsonian at no or nominal cost:

Provided further, That any funds received by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a result of the disposition of any orbiter shall be available only as provided in subsequent appropriations Acts:

SCIENCE

  • $5,005,600,000

Provided, That within the funds provide,

  • $15,000,000 shall be available for a reimbursable agreement with the Department of Energy for the re-establishment of facilities to produce fuel required for radioisotope thermoelectric generators to enable future science missions.

CONSTRUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE AND RESTORATION

  • $508,700,000, together with $20,000,000 to be derived from available unobligated balances previously appropriated for construction of facilities, to remain available until September 30, 2015:

Provided, That within the funds provided,

  • $40,500,000 shall be available to support science research and development activities;
  • $109,800,000 shall be available to support exploration research and development activities;
  • $15,600,000 shall be available to support space operations research and development activities;
  • $300,700,000 shall be available for institutional construction of facilities; and
  • $62,100,000 shall be available for environmental compliance and restoration:

POST-SHUTTLE TRANSITION FUNDING

Of funds provided under the headings ‘‘Space Operations’’ and ‘‘Exploration’’ in this Act, up to $60,000,000 may be transferred to ‘‘Economic Development Assistance Programs, Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce’’, to spur regional economic growth in areas impacted by Shuttle retirement and exploration programmatic changes.

EDUCATION

  • $180,000,000

Provided, That within the amounts appropriated,

  • $44,800,000 shall be for space grant activities:

PRIZES

Funds for announced prizes otherwise authorized shall remain available, without fiscal year limitation, until the prize is claimed or the offer is withdrawn.

CROSS AGENCY SUPPORT

  • $3,085,700,000

AERONAUTICS

  • $579,600,000

SPACE RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY

  • $559,000,000

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

  • $37,500,000