The Senate’s NSF number is $6.916 billion, a 6.6% increase over FY 2009, but lower than the administration’s 8.5% increase request and the House bill’s 6.9% increase. However, the NASA number matched the administration’s request of $18.686 billion, with none of the cuts to manned spaceflight present in the House bill.
The latest FYI discusses the bill, as well as pointing to the administration’s response to the House bill. For example OMB says in the statement, “The Administration is concerned with the reduction of $670 million from the President’s FY 2010 request for Exploration Systems. This large reduction would likely cause major negative impacts to any options that may emerge from the ongoing blue ribbon [Augustine committee] review of U.S. human space flight plans.”
It’s interesting to note where the Senate CJS appropriation deviates from the President’s request. Overall, NASA Science receives $4.517 billion, where as the request was $4.477 Billion. By division the Senate versus Request are as follows:
Division - Request - Senate Earth Science - $1.405B - $1.405B Planetary - $1.346B - $1.355 Astro - $1.121B - $1.169B Helio - $605M - $646M
In Astrophysics, $50 million is added to Cosmic Origins in a new line for servicing opportunities for science missions. (The House had added a similar amount in their appropriation bill ) The R&A request of $61.1 million is reduced to $60 million.
Within Planetary Science, notable changes from the request include an increase to Lunar Quest, in the form of $21 million for the International Lunar Network, and a reduction to Mars Exploration – specifically the “Other Missions and Data Analysis” line is reduced from a $162.1 million request to $150 million.
Within Heliophysics, the largest change is a $50 million appropriation to Solar Probe Plus, from a request of $3.4 million. Heliophysics R&A’s requested budget of $35.4 million is reduced to $31 million in the Senate bill, equal to FY 2009.
Below is the explanatory text directly from the Senate committee report that touches on a lot of these changes:
From the committee report:
Tags: appropriations, FY 2010, NASA, NSF, Senate
Earth Science Decadal Survey Missions.–The Committee supports the ongoing development of the Tier I missions, and provides the full budget requests for the Soil Moisture Active and Passive [SMAP] and the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite [ICESat II] missions. The Committee is disappointed that the request does not include funding for the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory [CLARREO] or the Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of the Ice [DESDnyl] missions, which are also part of the Tier 1 recommendations. The National Academies recommended flying a suite of these four missions concurrently to gather critical information about the Earth and its climate. The Committee strongly encourages NASA to realign priorities in future budget requests to accelerate these missions to more closely match the Academies’ recommended schedule, while also supporting development of Tier 2 and Tier 3 missions, as well as venture class missions. The Committee provides the full budget request of $135,100,000 for decadal-related projects and missions.
ICESat II Mission.–The Committee is aware that the Science Definition Team [SDT] for the ICESat II mission determined that the use of a photon-counting approach to provide cross-track measurement capabilities is the preferred method of meeting the objectives of the Earth Science Decadal Survey for this mission. The Committee supports this approach to ensure the highest level of accuracy in measuring ice melt; however, the SDT did not assess its technical readiness level. The Committee directs NASA to complete a technical readiness level evaluation, and to report on options to implementing this preferred approach without significantly increasing the cost, or substantially delaying the launch, of the mission.
Heliophysics- Within funds provided to advance scientific knowledge of the Sun’s impact on the Earth, the Committee provides the full budget requirement of $118,600,000 for the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, as well as $50,000,000 for the Solar Probe Mission. The Committee notes that the Solar Probe mission is the highest priority recommendation of the National Academies’ heliophysics decadal report, and therefore strongly urges the Agency to work to achieve a launch no later than 2015.
Within funds provided for sounding rockets operations, $5,000,000 is provided to continue advanced technology development of small satellites and unmanned aerial systems [UAS] that have the potential of lowering the costs of space and Earth science missions.
The Committee notes that suborbital science missions provide important hands-on experience for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] undergraduate and graduate students, and directs NASA to increase their participation of these missions.
Planetary Science- Within funds provided to advance scientific knowledge of our solar system, the Committee provides the full budget requirement of $416,108,000 for the Mars rovers and related science.
International Lunar Network- The Committee is concerned that NASA has chosen to take a science mission, the international lunar network, and make its funding contingent on a report that is focused on human space flight. The scientific merits of a mission using a lander rather than an orbiting vehicle were highlighted by the National Research Council in its report, `The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon’. Since the mission selection by NASA, there has been insufficient resources and inconsistent support for this mission. In accordance with the planned funding profile provided to the Committee for this mission, the Committee directs $21,000,000 to continue the development for this mission.
Astrophysics- Within funds provided to advance scientific knowledge of the origins of the universe, the Committee provides the full budget requirements of $112,600,000 for the Hubble Space Telescope and $441,400,000 for the James Webb Space Telescope. The Committee also provides the full budget request of $6,400,000 for the Joint Dark Energy Mission [JDEM].
Servicing Opportunities for Science Missions.–The Committee provides $50,000,000 to continue efforts to use the next generation of human space flight architecture to service existing and future on-orbit observatory-class scientific spacecraft as provided for in the statement of managers accompanying division B of Public Law 111-8. The Committee directs that this shall be a joint project of the science and exploration mission directorates, with supervision provided by the Associate Administrator and the Chief Engineer, and shall include technology demonstrations for both robotic and human servicing capabilities.