Reactions to President’s FY 2013 NASA Budget Request

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

On Commercial Crew Program: Today, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomed the strong continued support for commercial spaceflight in the new NASA FY2013 budget. Congress and the Administration have consistently identified commercial providers as the most cost-effective and reliable source for routine flights to low-Earth orbit, including transportation of cargo and NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. As recognized by a wide range of industry executives, scientists, and former NASA astronauts, among others, the Commercial Crew program is the quickest path to return Americans to orbit on American rockets.

Read full statement….

On the Space Technology Program: Today, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomed the strong support for NASA’s Space Technology program in the Fiscal Year 2013 proposed budget. The Space Technology program is NASA’s investment in the future; by developing technologies to improve all aspects of NASA’s operations, it ensures that NASA stays at the forefront of space exploration and scientific research. The technologies it develops will also improve quality of life on Earth, sustain America’s global economic competitiveness, enable the NASA missions of the future and create high-tech jobs across the country.

Read full statement

The Planetary Society

The U.S. Administration is proposing a budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that would force NASA to walk away from planned missions to Mars, delay for decades any flagship missions to the outer planets, and radically slow the pace of scientific discovery, including the search for life on other worlds.

NASA’s planetary science program is being singled out for drastic cuts, with its budget dropping by 20 percent, from $1.5 billion this year to $1.2 billion next year. The steep reductions will continue for at least the next five years — if the Administration’s proposal is not changed. This would strike at the heart of one of NASA’s most productive and successful programs over the past decade.

Read full statement

National Space Society

While falling short of the recommended levels needed for a “space program worthy of a great nation” as proposed by the Augustine Committee in 2009, the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget plan for NASA does spare the agency from significant overall cuts. The National Space Society (NSS), with its goals of creating a spacefaring civilization and of using the resources of space for the betterment of life on Earth, is guardedly optimistic about portions of the budget while calling for increased support for others.

“This budget for NASA reflects the realities we’re unfortunately now facing: ‘flat is the new up,’ and, while continuing to advocate for increased funding, we’ll have to work hard with what we have to achieve our goals,” said NSS Executive Director Paul E. Damphousse. “That being said, we will push the Administration, Congress, and NASA to meet these goals. The programs of record must come in on schedule and on budget; support for commercial spaceflight must be unwavering; and our Mars program, while undergoing restructuring, must still strive to make upcoming launch windows with relevant missions.”

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

“Despite repeated assurances from NASA and White House officials that the SLS and Orion are ‘key elements of our future strategy for human space exploration’, vehicle development for the heavy lift SLS rocket and the Orion capsule is cut by hundreds of millions of dollars. These reductions will slow the development of the SLS and the Orion crew vehicle, making it impossible for them to provide backup capability for supporting the space station. The Administration remains insistent on cutting SLS and Orion to pay for commercial crew rather than accommodating both.

“I will once again work with my colleagues in the Congress to ensure NASA receives the funding, consistent with law passed by Congress and signed by the President, needed to preserve our leadership in space and open the doors to future exploration and missions of discovery.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
(Released Feb. 9, 2012)

“Today I met with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to express my dismay over widespread reports that NASA’s latest budget proposes to dramatically reduce the planetary science program, and with it, ground breaking missions to Mars and outer planetary bodies like Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, and to inform him of my vehement opposition to such a move.

“America’s unique expertise in designing and flying deep-space missions is a priceless national asset and the Mars program, one of our nation’s scientific crown jewels, has been a spectacular success that has pushed the boundaries of human understanding and technological innovation, while also boosting American prestige worldwide and driving our children to pursue science and engineering degrees in college.

“As I told the Administrator during our meeting, I oppose these ill-considered cuts and I will do everything in my power to restore the Mars budget and to ensure American leadership in space exploration.”