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House Appropriators Propose $19.9 Billion for NASA, Full Funding for JPSS and GOES

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 28-Jun-2017
Updated: 25-Jul-2017 04:51 PM

The House Appropriations Committee released the draft FY2018 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill today, which funds NASA and NOAA among other agencies.  The CJS subcommittee will mark up the bill tomorrow.  The draft proposes $19.872 billion for NASA. Although the dollar number for NOAA's satellite programs is not included in the bill, it does promise full funding for NOAA's two major weather satellite programs. [UPDATE:  The full committee approved the bill.]

Those are the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) of polar-orbiting weather satellites and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series R (GOES-R) satellites.  The JPSS program funds the first two satellites in what is intended to be a series of four.  The other two have a different program name and funding line - the Polar Follow On (PFO) program. The GOES-R program funds four GOES geostationary satellite.

The Trump Administration supports full funding for JPSS and GOES-R.  The question is what will happen to PFO and a space weather follow-on program to build future satellites to replace the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).  The Trump Administration proposed deep cuts for those.   The subcommittee's recommendation was not included in the bill text released today, but should become clear either tomorrow during the markup or when the accompanying report is released.

Trump proposed a substantial cut for NASA in his FY2018 budget request -- from the $19.653 billion provided by Congress in FY2017 to $19.092 billion for FY2018 and the same total for each of the subsequent four years.

The House CJS subcommittee recommendation is an increase not only above the Trump request, but also above the FY2017 level:  $19.872 billion.  The proposed House CJS subcommittee funding is as follows (see SpacePolicyOnline.com's FY2018 NASA budget fact sheet to compare with FY2017 and FY2016). 

  • Science:  $5,858.5 million, including $495 million for the Europa mission outlined in the most recent National Academies Decadal Survey (meaning an orbiter and a lander) with the requirement that they be launched on the Space Launch System (SLS) in 2022 and 2024 (the same requirement included in last year's appropriations bill)
  • Aeronautics:  $660.0 million
  • Space Technology:  $686.5 million
  • Exploration:  $4,550.0 million, including $1,350 million for Orion; $2,150 million for SLS; $600 million for Exploration Ground Systems; and $450 million for Exploration Research and Development.  Of the funding for SLS, $300 million is for the Exploration Upper Stage.  EM-2 is to be launched by 2021.
  • Space Operations:  $4,676.634 million
  • Education:  $90 million, of which $18 million is for EPSCoR and $40 million is for Space Grant (Trump proposed eliminating NASA's Office of Education and funding for these and other programs funded by that office)
  • Safety, Security and Mission Services:  $2,826.2 million
  • Construction, Environmental Compliance and Restoration:  $486.1 million
  • Inspector General:  $37.9 million

The existing restrictions on NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy regarding space cooperation with China remain.

The markup is at 2:00 pm ET tomorrow and will be webcast.


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