NOAA, FAA AST Space Programs Get Funding Boosts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Last week, we took a look at the significant increase in NASA’s budget for FY 2019. In this story, we will examine the budget increases for the Commerce Department — which manages the nation’s weather satellites — and the Department of Transportation, which oversees commercial launches. We will also take a look how the White House’s National Space Council fared.

Commerce Department

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA’s satellite programs received $1,45 billion, which is an increase of $55 million over FY 2018. The bulk of the funding is designated for the GOES-R,  Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Polar Follow-on (PFO) programs. The amounts include:

  • JPSS: $548 million
  • GOES-R: $408.4 million
  • PFO: $330 million


Florida Organizations to Play Key Role in New Mexico-based Commercial Space Center of Excellence

Florida Today has some clarification of Space Florida’s decision earlier this week to put up $2 million in matching funds for the new FAA Center of Excellence Commercial Space Transportation, which will be headquartered at New Mexico State University.

Florida Tech is a core member of a partnership that the Federal Aviation Administration this week named to lead a new research center focused on commercial spaceflight.


FAA to Set Up Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation

faa_logoThe Federal Aviation Administration is planning to set up a new Center of Excellence (COE) for Commercial Space Transportation (CST) next year. FAA would fund the center at $1 million/year, with additional funds coming from the host institution. The program is open to:

  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education

The FAA will hold a public meeting on February 9 to discuss the new center. A COE Draft Solicitation will be available for public review prior to the meeting.

Contact Patricia Watts, Ph.D., FAA National Centers of Excellence Program Director, via e-mail at or fax 609-485-4101 to pre-register for the meeting and to obtain further details. Please provide name, title, institution/company, address, and telephone numbers of those interested in attending the meeting and/or receiving the Draft Solicitation.