NASA Space Operations Budget Request Fact Sheet

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle begins its separation from the station after undocking from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter. (Credit: NASA TV)

FY 2022 Budget Request
Space Operations
($ Millions)

The FY 2022 Budget for the Space Operations account consists of four areas: International Space Station (ISS), Space Transportation, Space and Flight Support (SFS), and Commercial LEO Development.

International Space Station (ISS)

  • NASA is working to foster a robust commercial ecosystem in low-Earth orbit (LEO) in which NASA will be one of many customers. Through the ISS, NASA currently meets its own requirements for research and technology development, while also supporting a burgeoning community of non-NASA users. Over time, NASA has been and will be transitioning various aspects of human spaceflight operations in LEO to the private sector. This includes a transition over time from the ISS to the use of commercial space stations, when they become available.
  • As the world’s only crewed space-based multinational research laboratory and technology test bed, ISS supports the emerging commercial ecosystem in LEO, as well as the future of deep space human exploration. The ISS:
    • Promotes commerce in space through public-private partnerships as new commercialization concepts are explored and stimulates non-NASA demand to support commercial destinations being developed under the Commercial LEO Development program;
    • Advances exploration of the solar system and enables scientists to identify and quantify risks to human health and performance, develop countermeasures, and develop and test technologies that protect astronauts during extended human space exploration;
    • Supports unique research and development opportunities in the areas of biological and physical science;
    • Maintains the ISS international partnership that has brought together astronauts and scientists from dozens of spacefaring nations in peaceful cooperative activity; and
    • Supports current and planned Earth and Space Science observation missions.

Space Transportation

  • Continues NASA’s partnership with U.S. commercial space industry to develop and operate safe, reliable, and affordable systems to transport crew to and from ISS and LEO. This strategy will lay the foundation for more affordable and sustainable future human space transportation capabilities, bolster American leadership, reduce our current reliance on foreign providers for this service, and help stimulate the American aerospace industry.
  • Sustains NASA’s ISS cargo supply function in partnership with American private industry.
  • Continues to advance commercial spaceflight and generate American jobs.

Space and Flight Support (SFS)

  • Provides mission-critical space communications and navigation services to customer missions, including human spaceflight, science, and commercial crew and cargo missions.
  • Advances next-generation space communication technologies, including optical communications, Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, and autonomous navigation, to reduce costs and improve performance.
  • Begins projects demonstrating the use of commercially provided communication services to support NASA missions.
  • Supports the readiness and health of the crew for all NASA human spaceflight endeavors.
  • Provides safe, reliable, and cost-effective launch services for civil sector missions, as well as launch-related support to NASA missions in development.
  • Continues to strategically manage NASA’s rocket testing core capability to meet U.S. rocket testing requirements.

Commercial LEO Development

  • Stimulates a commercial LEO space economy by partnering with U.S. private industry to enable development of LEO capabilities.
  • Focuses on expanding access to space platforms to support the utilization of space by U.S. citizens, companies, academia, and international partners.
  • Supports enabling, developing, and deploying commercial orbital destinations that NASA can use for research and technology demonstration purposes.
  • Develops policies and practices that define commercial ISS usage and pricing.

FY 2020 reflects funding amounts specified in Public Law 116-93, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, as adjusted in NASA’s FY 2021 Initial Operating Plan, except Exploration Ground System Development and Exploration CoF. Table does not reflect emergency supplemental funding provided for NASA and included in the Safety, Security, and Mission Services account, as specified in Public Law 116-136, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, totaling $60.0 million. FY 2021 reflects funding amounts specified in Public Law 116-260, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, as adjusted by NASA’s FY 2021 Initial Operating Plan.