Trump Eyes Half Billion Dollar Cut in NASA’s Budget

President Donald Trump would cut $561 million from NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2018 under a spending plan set for release next week, according to a leaked budget document.

NASA would see its budget reduced from $19.6 billion this year to just below $19.1 billion. The space agency received just under $19.3 billion in fiscal year 2016.

The total budget is close to the $19.1 billion contained in a budget blueprint the Trump Administration released in March. The blue print provided guidance for the formal budget proposal to be released next week.

The Third Way policy think tank published a leaked spreadsheet dated May 8  that details the president’s proposed budget. The figures for NASA included top-level spending amounts by category without going into individual programs such as Orion and Commercial Crew.

The table below shows that reductions are spread across the agency, with three exceptions.

FY 2018 PBR
Space Operations (ISS, Commercial Crew) $4.95 billion$4.74 billion-$210 million
Exploration (SLS, Orion, Ground Systems)$4.324 billion$3.934 billion-$390 million
Science $5.765 billion $5.712 billion -$53 million
Space Technology $686.5 million$678.6 million-$6.9 million
Aeronautics $660 million$624 million -$36 million
Education $100 million $37.3 million-$62.7 million
Safety, Security & Mission Assurance $2.769 billion$2.830 billion+61 million
 Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration$360.7 million
$496.1 million +$136.4
Office of Inspector General $37.9 million$39.3 million+1.6 million
 TOTALS: $19.653 billion $19.092 billion-$561 million

Exploration, which funds Orion, Space Launch System and related ground systems — would see a reduction of $390 million, which is unlikely to please Congress. There would be a $210 million cut in Space Operations, which funds the International Space Station and Commercial Crew programs.

NASA’s Education budget would be cut by $100 million to $37.3 million, a reduction of $62.7 million. Science, Space Technology and Aeronautics would experience more modest reductions.

The space agency would received an additional $136.4 million in its construction and environmental remediation and compliance budget. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida suffered damage from a hurricane. Its Michoud facility in New Orleans was hit by a hurricane.

The Safety, Security and Mission Assurance budget — which pays for operations — would see a $61 million increase. NASA’s Office of Inspector General would see its budget rise by $1.6 million.