House Appropriations Committee Releases NASA Budget Figures

Capitol Building
The House Appropriations Committee has released updated numbers for the NASA FY 2016 budget. The highlights include:

  • $3.4 billion for Space Launch System, Orion and related ground systems, an increase of $546 million over the President’s request;
  • $1 billion for Commercial Crew, a reduction of $243 million from the request;
  • $625 million for space technology, a reduction of $100 million.
  • $1.56 billion for planetary exploration, an increase of $196 million;
  • $1.68 billion for Earth science, a reduction of $264 million;
  • $140 million to begin work on the Jupiter Europa clipper;
  • $19 million to maintain operations of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and $13.7 million for the Mars Opportunity Rover.

The table below has the full details.

(In Millions of Dollars)
Earth Science
Planetary Sciences$1,361.2 $1,557.0 $195.8
Astrophysics$709.1 $735.6 $26.5
James Webb Space Telescope
$620.0 $620.0 $0.0
Heliophysics$651.0$642.0 -$9.0
Jupiter Europa Clipper$30.0$140.0 $110.0
Space Exploration$4,505.9$4,759.3$253.4
Exploration Systems Development
Space Launch System
Exploration Ground Systems
$410.1 $410.0-$0.1
Program Integration
Commercial Spaceflight$1,243.8$1,000.0-$243.0
Research & Development$399.2$350.0-$49.2
Space Operations$4,003.7$3,957.3
International Space Station$3,106.6$3,075.6-$31.0
Space & Flight Support
Space Technology$724.8$625.0
Safety, Security and Mission Services$2,843.1$2,768.6
Construction & Environmental Compliance & Restoration$465.3$425.0
Inspector General$37.4$37.4

  • Chad Overton

    If congress is going to over fund SLS and Orion I wonder if NASA can use that money to start building hardware for the BEO program such as deep space hab or a lander?

  • Kapitalist

    That’s what is needed to make SLS+Orion useful. But I’ve never heard of it. Bigalow develops habitats and Masten develops landers and I’m sure that some guys I don’t know about do similar things. But NASA doesn’t put these pieces together to see if they are useful. At least not officially. I bet this is all about the “anything but the Moon”-policy.

  • House committee added another $546 million to the Senate Launch System’s budget. It stipulated that the whole senate were to be launched into outer space as soon as the rocket is ready.

  • Chad Overton

    Yeah it would be great if they could engage some of the innovation out there from companies like Masten and Bigalow (which I drive by all the time here in Vegas). The first thing that needs to happen is a change in contract style so everything doesn’t end up being a bloated pork project for big aerospace. SLS and Orion should be the last projects done under FAR. But of course I have zero hope that that would happen. Seams like no one in congress gives a crap about a good space program that actually works.

  • Kapitalist

    What’s the -0.1 millions of dollar to Ground Exploration Systems all about? Does the Congress want to fire one particular guy?

  • Dennis

    It is so stupid that it is almost funny 🙁 To bad NASA’s hands will be pretty much tied here, they HAVE to spend all this extra money on SLS/Orion despite the fact (as they have testified) that it would have NO effect on the development timetable. This half a billion extra is going to go straight down the pork barrel and the SLS will not be completed one day earlier because of it 🙁

  • windbourne

    NASA should simply announce that they will defund cst-100 for 2 years.
    That will cause the GOP to restore full funding for ccxdev with 24 hours.

  • SLS and Orion will never be finished period. They weren’t designed to fly, they were designed to consume cash and prevent others from flying.

  • Charles Lurio

    Gee, I could use some of that pork personally. And it would be used better than throwing at the wall like this.

  • Michael J. Listner

    Not surprising. Everybody has an opinion how they can use federal funding; the online enthusiast community is no exception.

  • Others have very informed opinions on how not to burn up billions of dollars of space hardware in the atmosphere before even reaching low earth orbit. Not ever launching is the easiest way, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest way to trash the hardware. Cancellation works too. It appears that they want to cancel it, as that saves them their reputations in the end. Unfortunately NASA has no reputation in this area to trash, and so they’re good there.

  • Arthur Hamilton

    The fools in the HOR strikes again. They are anti-commercial space. They want everything to be bloated government pork.

  • Robert Gishubl

    Yep that sounds like congress, the program that is cost effective, making real progress to deliver a safe and useful capability to restore US leadership in human spaceflight is underfunded so more can be spent on Russian system that is getting old and unreliable. It also has the potential to establish a new industry lead by US companies to bring additional revenue to the US so lets see if we can hamstring it.
    Also increase the funding of a system that has no mission is using re-cycled concepts and is extra expensive with no hope of any commercial use costing the Taxpayer heaps.

  • windbourne

    As long as Boeing, L-Mart, and ULA exists with major stockholders (read that as insisting on massive profits) and can continue to buy congress critters, FAR will continue to exist.

    That is why we need SpaceX, Boeing, BO, and Bigelow to get space station alpha going, and be shooting for the moon ASAP.

    If Boeing/L-Mart/ULA/etc finds out that there is far more money involved in going truly private, then they will push CONgress to stay out of things (claiming too much regulations and taxes and other BS). And basically, Bigelow wants to do this. Musk personal goal is NOT the moon, however, he needs it. And I have no doubt that BFR will be used to go to the moon.
    What is needed is a back up or even competitor to it.
    I used to think that SLS could be the backup, but I have my doubts now. It appears that BFR is going to be doing 250-300 tonnes to LEO. As such, SLS is a very expensive joke that the neo-cons have built as a jobs program.

  • Billish_Returns

    You do understand that SpaceX was GIVEN the PICA reentry ablation compound directly from NASA based on its Government work, not to mention some details of the Dragon capsule’s thruster design and the “pintle” elements of other SpaceX engines, right? All Government-derived. Also, the DC-X and Delta Clipper teams who all did the first successful vertical takeoff and recovery demonstrations — as GOVERNMENT teams — were all essentially hired by SpaceX and Blue Origin and are re-using the Government-originated technology. I mean…you DID know all this, right, Arthur?

  • Arthur Hamilton

    I knew all that. What’s your point? I stated mine.