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NASA Budget Comment from Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

Press Release From: Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The President’s FY 2020 Budget Request for NASA proposes nearly a half billion dollar cut to agency funding from its current, FY 19 enacted level. While this marks an improvement in the topline budget request from previous years, the request contains significant cuts to most parts of the NASA budget to accommodate both this reduction and several new program starts. The impacts include:
 
  • Science: A $600M reduction, totaling 9%, with cuts of $152M to Earth Science, $162M to Planetary Science and $347M to Astrophysics. The Administration proposes to terminate PACE, CLAREEO and WFIRST, as it did last year – program cuts that Congress has previously rejected
  • Aeronautics: A $58M reduction, while advancing the X59
  • Space Operations - includes the International Space Station, Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew: A $354M reduction, while continuing the proposal to end direct federal funding of the ISS in 2025. Commercial transportation also sees ongoing reductions in the out years.
  • Exploration Systems: A $699M reduction, with cuts of $375M to SLS, $84M to Orion, $190M to Exploration Ground Systems and $50M to the Mobile Launch Platform-2
  • STEM Education: Terminates the office, as proposed last year and also rejected by Congress, with a cut of $110M
 
The only proposed budget increases above the FY 19 enacted level would go to funding public-private partnerships with lunar focus including Lunar Landers (+$247M), Gateway (+$371M) and Space Technology focused on lunar missions and development (+$88M), as well as a Commercial LEO Platform ($110M).  The budget also includes much-needed support of infrastructure and environmental compliance across the agency (+$581M).
 
“The Coalition applauds the Administrations’ desire to “lean forward” on the Moon to Mars effort. We also strongly support the appropriate use of public-private partnerships to develop new capabilities both for the government and in the private sector. However, this budget appears to overly rely on to address funding shortfalls due to the proposed topline budget cut,” said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition. “While there are some positive aspects to the Administration’s request – the focus on lunar Gateway and on sending humans to deep space to stay, the decision to begin a Mars Sample Return effort, and the desire for new starts to advance the agency’s mission – the proposed budget would nevertheless cut a number of the agency’s resources in key science and exploration programs at a critical moment in time. It is our hope that Congress will balance funding in support of all of the agency’s key priorities, rather than forcing false trades between important missions.” 
 
About the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration is a national organization of more than 60 space industry businesses and advocacy groups focused on ensuring the United States remains a leader in space, science and technology. Based in Washington D.C., the Coalition engages in outreach and education reinforcing the value and benefits of human space exploration and space science with the public and our nation’s leaders, building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for our nation’s space program.

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