. 24/7 Space News .
FY08 NASA Budget Request Insufficient For Space Exploration Program Say Republicans

In the aftermath of the Columbia tragedy we all recognized that NASA needed a new, clearly defined, affordable mission that would take us beyond low Earth orbit.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 16, 2007
Today, in a hearing with Dr. Michael Griffin, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Committee on Science and Technology discussed the President's fiscal year 2008 (FY08) budget request, specifically raising concern that the budget falls $1.4 billion short of the recommended funding in the NASA Authorization Act, passed in 2005.

As a long-time supporter of a robust space exploration program, Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) spoke highly of the President's Vision, and noted, "NASA performs best when it has a clear mission. In the aftermath of the Columbia tragedy we all recognized that NASA needed a new, clearly defined, affordable mission that would take us beyond low Earth orbit.

"After careful study, the Administration proposed the Vision for Space Exploration - which I support - and which this Committee and the entire Congress endorsed through the NASA Authorization Act of 2005. That consensus gives NASA the stable direction it has lacked.

"Since the Vision was first announced, two major financial obstacles have occurred," Hall continued. "First, earlier estimates for the remaining Shuttle flights understated the cost by roughly $3 billion. Second, the five-year budget runout presented at the time the Vision was announced [in 2004] assumed a higher funding profile.

"In the years since, the Administration requests for NASA have come in lower, and unfortunately Congress failed to fully fund the FY2007 request. Everyone bears some blame for the funding shortfalls, but the point I want to stress is that NASA continues to hold to its original schedule for the Vision, but doing it with smaller budgets. Consequently, the stress on the agency is enormous."

Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Calvert (R-CA) echoed this sentiment, pointing out that the lack of funding comes at a bad time, with pressures from rival counties' space programs threatening US preeminence. "Unfortunately, the FY2008 budget request seeks just $17.3 billion for NASA, substantially less than authorized but still with a 3% increase that is well above many other agencies within the discretionary budget," Calvert said.

"Nevertheless, this disparity, paired with the Agency's FY2007 appropriations reduction of $545 million, jeopardizes NASA's ability to successfully accomplish its portfolio of missions. And it comes at a time when other countries, such as China, are eagerly ramping up their own space and aeronautics programs. Their recent ASAT strike should remind us all that the Second Space Age will be a crowded and competitive."

Calvert concluded that NASA is being asked to do too much with insufficient resources, and therefore recommended a bottom line increase in NASA's proportion of the overall federal budget, saying, "For an Agency that has made immense contributions to our quality of life, economy and international relations, the little more than one-half of one percent of the total federal budget investment we are providing is just not sufficient. NASA stakeholders must stop fighting each other for a larger piece of the NASA pie and work on a securing a bigger overall NASA pie."

Recognizing that the budget request falls short of expectations, Administrator Griffin, defended the request, framing the budget in terms of an extremely tight funding environment, saying, "The FY 2008 budget request for NASA demonstrates the President's continued commitment to our Nation's leadership in space and aeronautics research, especially during a time when there are other competing demands for our Nation's resources.

The FY 2008 budget request reflects a stable plan to continue investments begun in prior years, with some slight course corrections." Griffin concluded, "Overall, I believe that we are heading in the right direction. We have made great strides this past year, and NASA is on track and making progress in carrying out the tasks before us."

Source: House Science and Technology Cmte. Republican Caucus

Email This Article

Related Links
Lots of Space For Opinion
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
Space Shuttle News at Space-Travel.Com
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Mikulski Calls for Bipartisan Summit with White House on Future of Space Program
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 16, 2007
At today's final Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee hearing focused on innovation, Chairman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) noted her concern for the future of NASA's budget and the nation's space program, pledging to fight again with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) for a $1 billion increase to NASA's top line. At today's hearing, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin presented his priorities as the subcommittee considers President Bush's FY 2008 budget requests.

  • The Story Of Women In Space
  • Russia To Shut Down Svobodny Space Centre
  • NASA To Host Space University Session
  • JAXA Hosts Kyoto Workshop For Global Space Exploration Strategy

  • Mars Express Radar Gauges Water Quantity Around Martian South Pole
  • NASA Mars Rover Churns Up Questions With Sulfur-Rich Soil
  • JPL Animators Create Detailed Fly Over Of Victoria Crater With Opportunity At Work
  • Onward To The Valley Without Peril

  • Next Ariane 5 Takes Shape
  • First Ariane 5 Launch Of 2007 Finally Gets Away
  • Official Opening Of The Soyuz Launch Base Construction Site In French Guiana
  • Canadian Satellite Given Final Checks At Russian Launch Pad

  • Airborne Science In The Classroom The Next-Best Thing To Being There
  • A Cold-Water Monster Current Off Sydney
  • CryoSat-2 On The Road To Recovery
  • Climate Change View Clearer With New Oceans Satellite

  • Smash And Grab On The Edge Of Sol Billions Of Year Ago
  • Jupiter Play Back Begins As Downlink Initiated From New Horizons
  • The Tip of the Iceberg
  • New Horizons Completes First Stage Of Long Journey To Pluto And Beyond

  • Science Team Shows Light Is Made Of Particles And Waves
  • Gamma-Ray Burst Challenges Theory
  • NASA Mission Finds Link Between Big And Small Stellar Blasts
  • Full-Spectrum Study Of Small Patch Of Sky Yields Portrait Of Maturing Universe

  • Shooting Marbles At Four Miles A Second
  • A SMART Bridge To The Future Exploration Of The Moon
  • First Chinese Lunar Probe Assembled And Ready For Launch
  • Chinese Spacemen To Reach Moon In 15 Years

  • Galileo Development Stalled Over Profitability Questions
  • New Receiver Board Gets All The Right Signals
  • Glonass Cheaper To Build Than GPS Says Putin
  • Raytheon To Pursue Air Force Upgrade For NextGen GPS Control Segment

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement