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NASA Excerpts from Conference Report on H.R. 2862, Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agenices Approp Act 2006

Status Report From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2005

CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2862, SCIENCE, STATE, JUSTICE, COMMERCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The conference agreement provides $16,456,800,000 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), instead of $16,471,050,000 as proposed by the House and $16,396,400,000 as proposed by the Senate.

All changes to the budget request are net of NASA's budget amendment that was submitted to the Congress after both the House and Senate had passed their respective bills, and hence are not included in the statement of the managers for the Science, Aeronautics and Exploration account or the Exploration Capabilities account.

The conferees are extremely disappointed in the lack of detail provided in the fiscal year 2006 congressional budget justification. NASA is reminded that the primary purpose of budget justifications is to provide needed information to the Committees on Appropriations, and therefore must be submitted in a format with the necessary level of detail required by the Committees so that funding requests may be analyzed. In order for the budget justifications to be of value to the Committees, NASA shall present the fiscal year 2007 budget justification with detailed information on the prior year, current year, and requested funding levels for each program, project or activity funded within each division and directorate in each account, and provide detailed information on all proposed changes being requested.

The conferees do not agree to the continuation of the transfer authority in the House bill. However, to the extent necessary, NASA should use the flexibility in spending authority within each of its accounts to accommodate any funding level adjustments after first consulting with the Committees on Appropriations.

For fiscal year 2006 and thereafter, the conferees direct NASA to include the out-year budget impacts in all reprogramming requests. In addition, future reprogramming requests/operating plans should include a separate accounting of all program/mission impacts on estimated carryover funds. NASA is further directed to incorporate independent cost verification as part of the process by which contracts are selected for contracts in excess of $100,000,000. This process should be a valuable guide for assessing when costs have exceeded expectations and will help identify projects for termination.

As NASA begins the development of programs to return to the Moon, it is critical that it be able to control costs for these, and other, activities. For this purpose, NASA is directed to notify the Committees on Appropriations 30 days prior to allocating funds, modifying contracts, or extending existing contracts that are in excess of 15 percent of the original contract value at the program level. Within this notification, NASA shall justify the additional expenditure of funds. NASA shall also evaluate the new cost estimates and verify to the Committees on Appropriations the ability to complete the contract under the new funding profile. Finally, NASA shall identify the source of any required additional funds to cover the overrun.

The conferees note that NASA has, in the past few months, used its buyout authority to promote voluntary separations as a first attempt at reshaping its workforce. The conferees believe that at this early stage, NASA has been able to reshape its workforce without losing critical workforce skills. The conferees direct that NASA shall not go beyond using voluntary buyout authority until it has developed a comprehensive coordinated restructuring plan and implementation roadmap, and has provided a report to the Congress detailing the steps that will be taken in reshaping the agency's human and physical capital assets. In addition, NASA must notify the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations in advance of any planned reduction in force pursuant to section 605 reprogramming requirements.

With respect to the agency's workforce, the conferees note the impressive core competencies that exist at NASA's field centers, and direct the agency to fully utilize the competencies that reside at these field centers. NASA's field centers are an asset, and not a liability, for our nation. The conferees believe that NASA currently has, and must maintain, world-class scientists and engineers at its field centers. These scientists and engineers must continue to work at the cutting-edge of their disciplines so that they can remain world-class.

The conferees are supportive of NASA's new vision and mission for space exploration and the conference agreement includes funds for the Administration's priorities for these activities. However, the conferees remain concerned about the need to maintain the nation's leadership in science and technology. To this end, the conferees have not agreed to the Administration's proposed reductions to the aeronautics research program or science programs, and have partially restored funding to these core programs. However, given the serious nature of the budget deficit facing the nation, the conferees were forced to make a number of difficult choices in allocating the scarce resources available to NASA. The conference agreement includes a budget that supports both the new vision and NASA's other core functions.

The conferees have agreed to provide funds to the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) according to the Exploration Systems Architecture study, but are concerned about the impact the accelerated schedules for the CEV and CLV will have within the agency. NASA is directed to find an approach that will, to the maximum extent possible, mitigate the impacts within NASA of this planned redirection of funding in fiscal year 2006 and beyond for the CEV and CLV.

NASA possesses a unique capability among Federal government agencies in that it has its own television station. This station is carried nationally on cable and satellite television stations. The conferees note that this asset is significantly underutilized and could be used as a centerpiece in helping to excite the next generation of explorers in science. NASA has made numerous important discoveries in recent years as a result of such initiatives as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mars Rovers, and the Chandra Space telescope to mention a few. NASA must take advantage of its television resources to inform and excite the public about these discoveries. NASA Television has, for the most part, been used almost exclusively as an internal communications medium. NASA must make more effective use of this capability if NASA is to be permitted to retain it. NASA is directed to develop an integrated communications plan for NASA Television in consultation with outside experts. This plan should have a major focus on educating and exciting the next generation of explorers. This plan is to be submitted to the Committees on Appropriations no later than April 15, 2006.

SCIENCE, AERONAUTICS AND EXPLORATION

(INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

The conference agreement provides $9,761,400,000 for Science, Aeronautics and Exploration instead of $9,725,750,000 as proposed by the House and $9,761,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. Changes to the budget request include increases of $10,000,000 for the Space Interferometry Mission, $30,000,000 for the Glory Mission, $60,000,000 for the Aeronautics Research program of which $25,000,000 is for hypersonic research, $10,000,000 for the Institute for Scientific Research, $20,000,000 for the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing, $5,000,000 for the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle, $15,000,000 for the Propulsion Research Laboratory, $15,000,000 for an earth science competitive grant program, $20,000,000 for alternative small spacecraft technologies, $50,000,000 for the Hubble Telescope servicing mission, $8,200,000 for EPSCoR, $12,200,000 for the Space Grant program, $5,000,000 for Living With a Star program, and $280,000,000 for Congressionally directed priorities. Decreases to the budget request include $25,000,000 for Exploration Systems R&T, $25,000,000 for Discovery missions, $25,000,000 for Human Systems R&T, $26,000,000 for corporate G&A, $34,000,000 for Centennial Challenges, $15,000,000 for optical communications, $200,000,000 for Project Prometheus, and $90,000,000 for a general reduction.

The conferees agree to the following:

1. The conference agreement adopts, by reference, the House report language accompanying H.R. 2862 with respect to earth-orbit crossing asteroids and the Senate report language with respect to the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, EOSDIS, Centennial Challenges, and alternative small spacecraft technologies. In addition, both the House and Senate urge NASA to continue its technology and education collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.

2. The conference agreement provides an increase of $50,000,000 above the budget request for the Hubble Space Telescope for a total of $271,000,000. The conferees have provided this increase to continue planning, preparation and engineering activities for the SM-4 servicing mission pending a final decision on the use of the space shuttle by the Administrator. The conferees reiterate their position that the Hubble Space Telescope has been one of NASA's most successful programs and remains one of the top priorities for the nation's space program. The conferees direct the Administrator to continue to take all appropriate steps to ensure Hubble's continued safe operations.

3. The conferees support the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) and have provided an additional $10,000,000 over the budget request for this mission, for a total program level of $119,000,000. NASA's search for planets and life beyond our solar system is having increasing and dramatic success with more than 150 planets now discovered. SIM is expected to examine 2000-3000 stars for planetary systems to fulfill a critical step in the search for Earth-like planets. The conferees have provided these additional funds to ensure that SIM's important mission remains on schedule. In addition, the conferees expect that NASA will continue funding for the Terrestrial Planet Finder.

4. A key element of the nation's vision for space exploration is NASA's popular and scientifically important Mars exploration program. The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity have captured the world's imagination as indicated by the more than 10 billion hits on NASA's Mars website. Therefore, the conference agreement provides $680,000,000 for the Mars program. The conferees urge NASA to continue these important programs within the context of the President's vision for space exploration.

5. The conference agreement provides $371,600,000 for the James Webb Space Telescope, the same as the budget request.

6. The conferees fully support the emphasis being placed on the development of a new Crew Launch Vehicle, understanding that this is a critical element of the Exploration Systems Architecture. Additional risk reduction activities are required to help ensure the success of this program and therefore the conference agreement provides an additional $20,000,000 to the funds provided to the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing for work to include, but not limited to, the development of a structural test article, upperstage mass simulator, main propulsion test article and mated vehicle ground vibration test article to support upperstage development; and prototype and test advanced long-term cryogenic storage tanks.

7. The conference agreement includes an additional $15,000,000 to the Propulsion Research Laboratory to conduct research and development in support of the Constellation program, including the characterization of the altitude start capability of the Space Shuttle main engine and research in nuclear systems and high energy electric propulsion.

8. The conferees note that the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle is critical to NASA's exploration plans, and that human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit is not achievable without an operational capability. The conferees strongly urge NASA to initiate work on critical systems earlier than is currently planned and provide an additional $5,000,000 to begin development and planning for the heavy lift vehicle proposed in the Exploration Systems Architecture. The conferees also direct NASA to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations within 120 days of enactment of this Act with a detailed plan for ensuring that such a capability will be available for missions as soon as possible.

9. The conference agreement provides $60,000,000 above the budget request for the Aeronautics Research program for a total program level of $912,300,000, of which $25,000,000 is for the continuation of hypersonics research. The conferees direct that within 60 days of enactment of this Act NASA shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations and the legislative committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate a plan for how it intends to allocate aeronautics research funds for fiscal year 2006. Included in this plan should be a definition of work that enhances United States competitiveness.

10. The conferees note that the National Academy of Sciences, Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey of planetary scientists concluded that the highest priority of the scientific community is an orbiter/lander mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. The Administration supported just such a mission, and had proposed that the first or second mission of the Prometheus Nuclear Systems and Technology Program would be the Jupiter Icy Moons Mission (JIMO). NASA no longer plans a JIMO mission for Project Prometheus because of funding and technical considerations, and because the NASA Administrator has determined that funding is needed to implement the President's vision for space exploration. Recognizing that these deep space missions usually take a decade to complete from design to orbit, the conferees support NASA moving forward with a conventionally powered mission to Jupiter as soon as possible. Therefore, the conferees direct NASA to begin planning for this mission and to incorporate a new start for a non-nuclear Europa mission as part of its fiscal year 2007 budget request.

11. The conferees have modified Senate language regarding the Discovery program. The conferees set a cap of $425,000,000 on all future Discovery missions beginning with the next announcement of opportunity. In addition, the conferees direct NASA to report back to the Committees on Appropriations on all future awards under this program and provide detailed information as to the cost of spacecraft, scientific instruments, launch vehicles, civil service, flight readiness, launch integration and operations, agency reviews and deep space network costs.

12. The conference agreement provides a total of $12,500,000 for NASA's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Additionally, the conferees recommend a total of $30,200,000 for the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. This amount will fund 40 grantees at $611,250 each and 12 grantees at $425,000. The conferees expect NASA to follow this distribution.

13. The conference agreement provides an increase of $15,000,000 above the budget request for the Earth Science Applications program. This funding increase will be used to support competitively selected projects. These projects will integrate the results of NASA's earth observing systems and earth system models (using observations and predictions) into decision support tools to serve applications of national priority including, but not limited to: homeland security, coastal management, agricultural efficiency, and disaster management.

14. The conference agreement provides $103,600,000 for NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program. The conferees urge NASA to move forward with full-scale development of the magnetospheric multiscale mission.

15. The conference agreement provides $5,000,000 above the budget request for Living With a Star program for a total program level of $239,000,000 of which $10,000,000 shall be allocated to the APL Program Office for direct program management of certain activities, including the Geospace Radiation Belt program, the Geospace Ionispheric-Therospheric program, the Solar Sentinels program and the Solar Probe Advanced Technology program. The conferees remain concerned about the Solar Dynamic Observatory's cost growth over time and expect NASA to take steps to manage it so as not to adversely impact future launch schedules of Geospace and Solar Sentinels.

16. Within the funds provided for non-programmatic construction of facilities, $10,000,000 is directed to the Institute for Scientific Research, Inc. for the continued construction of the research facility.

17. The conference agreement provides the budget request of $30,900,000 for continued operation of the Independent Verification and Validation Center in Fairmont, WV.

18. The conferees direct, to the extent possible, that education funds within this account address the education needs of women, minorities, and other historically underrepresented groups.

19. The conferees are concerned that NASA has halted environmental clean-up of the test reactor facility at NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, OH. NASA has since learned that low levels of radioactive contamination have been found on and off site at this Station, but continues to delay completion of the decommissioning of the nuclear reactor. As a result, NASA is urged to reconsider its premature termination of clean-up contracts and sub-contracts. Further, the agency should report back to the Committees on Appropriations by March 30, 2006, on how it plans to address this issue, including the associated costs of such plan.

20. The conferees note that over the past several years the technological maturity of U.S. manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has increased substantially. The conferees believe UAVs could offer NASA a potentially low cost alternative to traditional earth science research missions, thereby opening up new opportunities for research that do not currently exist, and possible improvements in weather and severe storm prediction capabilities. Therefore, the conferees direct the NASA Administrator, in consultation with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to report to the Committees on Appropriations on the potential use of UAVs to operate in the near space environment for a variety of science and operational missions. The report should be completed no later than March 30, 2006.

21. The conferees support NASA's efforts to realign the Aeronautics program by redirecting resources into high-priority activities in support of core competencies in supersonic, subsonic, and hypersonic flight. The conferees urge NASA, as part of this realignment, to ensure a smooth transition of data for certification and policy recommendations from NASA's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the National Airspace project to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), so that this knowledge is fully available to the FAA for use in the certification process. The conferees direct NASA to provide a report on the findings of the UAVs in the National Air Space project to the FAA no later than February 15, 2006, with a copy of this report to be provided to the Committees on Appropriations.

22. Funding was proposed in the budget requests for NASA, the Department of the Interior's United States Geological Survey, and the NOAA for a Landsat Data Continuity Mission. The Administration proposed a Landsat-type instrument to be flown on a NOAA spacecraft. The conferees now understand that such a mission is no longer feasible for both funding and technical reasons. The conferees direct the above agencies, in consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, to report back to the Committees on Appropriations within 120 days of enactment of this Act with an appropriate alternative for a Landsat mission.

23. With minor technical changes, the conferees have agreed to language included in the House report requiring the President to develop a National Aeronautics Policy no later than one year from the date of enactment of this Act. The lack of support and clear direction for NASA's Aeronautics Research program is directly related to the fact that there is no clear policy direction concerning the government's role in the civil aviation industry. The conferees are extremely concerned about the direction NASA has taken in downsizing and restructuring its Aeronautics Research program. While the United States is reducing its Federal investment in aeronautics research, our competitors are increasing their aeronautics research and development budgets and making competitiveness their number one priority. While the conferees support the development of a national aeronautics policy, such a policy should be guided by the data and policy guidance contained in the recently published National Institute of Aerospace Report, ``Responding to the Call: Aviation Plan for American Leadership''.

24. With the cancellation of the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter, the conferees are concerned about how the requirements that led to the need for this mission will be met, especially optical communications. NASA is directed to provide a report no later than March 1, 2006, on these requirements, how it intends to meet these requirements and what the impact on the overall Mars exploration programmatic risk will be.

25. NASA is directed to provide a ten-year funding plan for the Deep Space Network upgrades and maintenance as part of the fiscal year 2007 budget request.

26. The conferees agree that NASA should continue to work toward an affordable, universal and autonomous capability for rendezvous and docking in the vicinity of the Earth, the Moon, and Mars. Upon completion of the DART review board report, the conferees direct NASA, within 30 days of delivery of the board report, to report to the Committees on Appropriations with its future plans for autonomous, safe proximity operations and docking in space.

The conference agreement provides funds for the following congressional priorities. None of these funds shall be for non-NASA construction projects:

$3,000,000 MSFC Simulation Based Acquisition for Manned Space Flight Vehicle Design and Testing;

$4,000,000 Satellite Test Equivalence Principal (STEP);

$1,500,000 Alan Shepard Discovery Center at the McAuliffe Planetarium, equipment and exhibits;

$1,000,000 Ott Planetarium, education programs;

$1,000,000 Stars program at Rhoads College, TN;

$5,000,000 to be transferred to the Air Force Research Laboratory for joint NASA-AFRL research in advanced air traffic management including the development of new visualization and simulation tools;

$2,000,000 Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology at Cayuga Community College, Inc;

$1,000,000 University of South Alabama for high strength composite research;

$1,000,000 collaborative research on innovative carbon nanotechnology between Houston Advanced Research Center and Rice University;

$750,000 Remote Sensing Initiative at California State University, Fullerton;

$700,000 space exploration education program at the McLean VA based Total Learning Research Institute;

$2,000,000 George Mason University's Center for Earth Observing Research;

$4,000,000 cooperative partnership between GSFC and Lehigh University for research and development of nanomaterials;

$500,000 cooperative education programs between Griffith Observatory and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory;

$300,000 education programs at St. Thomas University;

$1,150,000 Southeast Missouri State University, Educator Resource Center;

$1,000,000 Environmental Tectonics Corporation, flight simulator pilot training human factors validation;

$500,000 National Federation of the Blind, science education programs for blind youth;

$3,000,000 Virginia Institute for Performance and Engineering;

$1,000,000 Centenary College NJ, innovative teacher training initiative;

$2,500,000 NASA-Illinois Technology Commercialization Center at DuPage Research Park;

$1,000,000 Northwestern University Institute for Proteomics and Nanobiotechnology;

$2,000,000 Pacific Northwest Regional Collaboratory WA, earth science applications;

$4,000,000 Ultra Efficient Engine Technology (UEET);

$1,000,000 Garrett Morgan Commercialization Initiative;

$2,000,000 Advanced Virtual Engine Test Cell, Springfield OH;

$750,000 Westminster College's Natural Sciences and Technology Center MO, education programs;

$1,000,000 Applied Polymer Technology Extension Consortium, LA;

$200,000 North Shore Aerospace Initiative IL;

$750,000 Museum of Science and Industry's Human Exploration program, Henry Crown Space Center, IL;

$200,000 Adler Planetarium education programs;

$500,000 Challenge Learning Center, Olean NY;

$500,000 Central Illinois Regional Museum for digital dome planetarium equipment;

$4,000,000 Loma Linda University space radiation research;

$1,000,000 University of Redlands academic programs;

$1,000,000 Oklahoma Space Technology Program;

$1,000,000 Centenary College LA, technology upgrades;

$1,000,000 Plattsburg Aeronautical Institute NY;

$1,000,000 Texas Tech University TX, development and enhancement of space flight technologies;

$500,000 University of Idaho ID, deep submicron radiation hard electronics;

$2,350,000 Jason Foundation Project;

$500,000 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University AZ, education programs;

$1,000,000 Burlington Community College Integrated Education Center NJ, equipment;

$2,000,000 Idaho National Laboratory ID, performance, safety, and mission success tools;

$1,400,000 Indiana University solar proton radiation research;

$2,000,000 Pisgah Astronomical Research Center NC, equipment and exhibits;

$1,500,000 Regional Application Center for the Northeast;

$4,000,000 Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program;

$1,900,000 KSC Space Life Sciences Laboratory and Florida Institute of Technology FL, research program;

$2,000,000 University of South Florida National Center for Roadway Friction;

$3,000,000 Florida State University advanced turbines research;

$1,000,000 Challenger Learning Center of Southwestern Connecticut;

$2,000,000 for the development and optimization of a low-cost repairable ceramic (CeramARC) for high temperature applications such as leading edges;

$2,000,000 for the NASA In-Space Propulsion program for High-power Pulsed Inductive Thruster technology research, utilizing a vector inversion pulsed generator to pre-ionize the propellant at an exceptionally high frequency;

$1,000,000 for on-going activities of the Goddard Institute for Systems, Software, and Technology Research, including model-based mission design tools and advanced sensors for UAVs;

$5,000,000 to establish a software research program at NASA's Independent Verification & Validation Facility to include the Code Level Metrics Data Program, IV&V of Neural Nets, and Software Legacy Research;

$900,000 for the NASA Virtual Teams Collaboration Pilot at Glenn Research Center;

$4,500,000 for the WVHTCF for research of grid-computing based evolutionary design techniques across NASA applications;

$600,000 for the WVHTCF's Network Learning Alliance;

$1,100,000 for Fairmont State University for aerospace programs, teaching labs, equipment for programs and necessary improvements and upgrades to the Fairmont State University Aerospace Education Center;

$4,000,000 for Glenville State College for laboratories, equipment, planning and programs associated with the science center;

$2,100,000 for the WVHTCF program for the Innovative Research of Technologies to Enable Next Generation Space Exploration;

$1,500,000 for the Glenn Research Center Collaborative Engineering Environment;

$100,000 for Albany Technical College in Albany, Georgia for a technology, math and engineering program;

$150,000 for Muscogee County Schools in Georgia for math and science programs;

$250,000 for Albany State University in Albany, Georgia for project ``Jump Start'' for a math and science education enhancement program;

$150,000 for Andrew College, Georgia, for a rural math, science and engineering program;

$600,000 for Richland County Challenger Learning Center for Space Education in Columbia, South Carolina;

$2,000,000 for the Sci-Quest Hands-On Science Center;

$1,400,000 for the Alabama A&M University for Advanced Propulsion Materials Research;

$800,000 for the University of Alabama in Huntsville for the Laboratory for Advanced Scintillator Materials;

$500,000 for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for museum exhibits updates;

$2,300,000 for the Propulsion Research Laboratory at the Marshall Space Flight Center for advanced propulsion test equipment;

$1,000,000 for the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex in Bridgeport;

$100,000 for the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center;

$3,500,000 for the Educational Advancement Alliance to support the Alliance's K-12 math, science and technology education and scholarship program;

$700,000 for Middle Tennessee State University for K-12 Science Education Enhancements;

$250,000 for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Center at Tennessee Tech University;

$1,000,000 for the National Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Packaging at the State University of New York in Binghamton;

$2,500,000 for Goddard Space Flight Center for Radiance process laser dry cleaning capability;

$2,000,000 for Goddard Space Flight Center's Integrated Modeling Environment for Safety of Space Flight initiative;

$100,000 for planning associated with the Plum Brook Station Alternative Energy Development;

$250,000 for East Providence School Department, Rhode Island, for instruction labs in math and science;

$200,000 for the University of Rhode Island Engineering School;

$200,000 for the Providence School Department, Rhode Island, for instructional labs in math and science;

$1,000,000 for continuation of NASA's Science and Education Institutional collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History, New York;

$600,000 for the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California for The Future Programs for Humans in Space Education Programs;

$950,000 for the Sacramento Space Science Center at California State University;

$500,000 for the MCNC-Research and Development Institute (RDI) for continued funding for a Laboratory for Distributed Chemical and Biological Sensors;

$500,000 for North Carolina State University's Center for Sustainable Life Support;

$500,000 for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences;

$1,000,000 for the University of San Francisco to acquire equipment for laboratories and upgrades to a science center;

$250,000 for the Liberty Science Center;

$500,000 for St. Peter's College, New Jersey, for enhancing physical sciences and human factors education and research;

$1,000,000 for Downey, California related to housing of a Space Shuttle mock-up;

$300,000 for the Bronx Community College Center for Sustainable Energy;

$1,000,000 for Ball State University, Indiana, Human Performance Laboratory;

$750,000 for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the U.S./Mexico large millimeter telescope project;

$4,500,000 for the California Academy of Sciences to support technologies and educational programming for the Morrison Planetarium;

$200,000 to Coppin State University for the Middle Passage Project to support the Geospatial Sciences Laboratory

$1,000,000 for the Dole Scholarship Program;

$1,500,000 for weather mapping in Alaska;

$3,500,000 for the Biodefense Research Infrastructure Project at St. Louis University;

$4,000,000 for the Stennis Commercial Technology Program (CTP);

$500,000 for the AgCam Science Applications Team, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana;

$2,000,000 for the University of South Alabama to develop a high peak power plasmoid thruster;

$1,000,000 for the University of Louisville Rejuvenating Injured Tissues for Enhanced Wound Healing Project;

$100,000 for the La Rouche College Chemistry Initiative;

$300,000 for the Stroud Water Research Center;

$1,000,000 for the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation, Kent County, Delaware;

$3,500,000 for Auburn University to develop high efficiency, free piston stirling converters;

$250,000 for the Space Foundation's Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program;

$200,000 for the Colorado Consortium for Earth and Space Science Education Challenger Learning Center of Colorado Springs;

$350,000 for the Center for Science and Technology at Dominican University, San Rafael, California;

$300,000 for the Sun-Climate and Extra solar Planets Research Program at Tennessee State University;

$750,000 for the Digital Image Archive Center at Utah State University;

$2,500,000 for the Composites Technology Institutes, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia;

$1,750,000 for the Ultra-Long-Duration Balloon Program at New Mexico State University;

$200,000 for the Adventure Science Center--Bridges to the Universe;

$500,000 for the GeoInformatics Training, Research, Education and Extension Center (GeoTREE) for emergency planning and management;

$4,000,000 for the Chesapeake Information Based Aeronautics Consortium, Baltimore, Maryland of which $1,000,000 is for a demonstration of the Navy's JATDI program into civilian applications;

$750,000 for the University of Colorado Institute for Micro/Nano Technology for Engineering and Life Sciences;

$1,000,000 for the North Alabama Science Center's Alabama Nature Center interactive immersive-reality science laboratory;

$2,000,000 for Constellation University for the CU Research Program;

$1,000,000 for Philadelphia University for the Scientific Reasoning-Inquiry Based Education Initiative;

$2,000,000 for the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York for optics research;

$2,000,000 for the University of Louisville Space Flight Exploration Project;

$2,500,000 for the National Space Science and Technology Center to develop high power thin disk lasers;

$4,000,000 for the Alliance for NanoHealth;

$3,000,000 for the Northern Great Plains Space Sciences Technology Center at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks;

$1,100,000 for the Glenn Research Center for research and technology programs in advanced aeronautics programs, including turbine engine research;

$1,000,000 for the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative;

$2,000,000 for the development of a prototype systems integration node for secure data storage at MSFC;

$100,000 for the Franklin & Marshall Life Sciences Facility;

$1,000,000 for the University of Mississippi to expand the National Center for Air and Space Law (NCASL) mission;

$1,500,000 for the Houston Advanced Research Center;

$500,000 for the University of Idaho for Radiation-Tolerant Ultra-Low-Power (RTULP) electronics;

$800,000 for the Combined Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner at Colorado State University;

$3,000,000 to the Mauna Kea Discovery Center, Hilo, Hawaii;

$2,750,000 for the Glenn Research Center for research and technology programs in electric power and propulsion, including photo voltaics, solar power, fuel cells, and other forms of energy storage;

$1,000,000 for the Nuclear Systems Initiative at the Propulsion Research Lab for a modeling and simulation test bed environment;

$500,000 for Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts, for K-6 science teacher education;

$1,250,000 for the Astromaterials Institute at University of New Mexico;

$500,000 for the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation;

$600,000 for the Sci-Port Discovery Center, Shreveport, Louisiana;

$500,000 for the Temporal Land Cover Change Research Program at Idaho State University;

$1,000,000 for the Mississippi Coastal Disaster Inventory Initiative;

$1,000,000 for the Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont;

$5,000,000 for the Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking Center of Excellence;

$4,000,000 for the Micro Satellite Development program at the National Space, Science and Technology Center in coordination with NASA's Systems Development, Integration and Test Division;

$50,000 for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Space Odyssey Initiative;

$2,500,000 for the Saturn V Rocket restoration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center;

$1,000,000 for the Center for Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arkansas, Fayetville;

$1,000,000 for the Space Dynamics Laboratory Calibrations Standards Initiative at Utah State University;

$1,250,000 for Compact Laser Sensors at Montana State University;

$400,000 for the Glenn Research Center for Human Health and Performance in Space;

$600,000 for the Central Nebraska Planetarium at the University of Nebraska at Kearney;

$3,000,000 to develop and demonstrate an Airport Operations Virtual Systems Laboratory;

$500,000 for the Space Engineering Institute at Texas A&M University;

$3,000,000 for the National Technology Transfer Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia for the HEALTHeWV program;

$750,000 for the Glenn Research Center for applied research in nuclear power and propulsion systems,

$2,000,000 for the Institute for NanoBio Technology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland;

$1,000,000 for a Methane Propellant Viability Assessment and Program Plan to be conducted within the Rocket Propulsion Test Program;

$2,000,000 for continued operation of the Classroom of the Future at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling West Virginia;

$5,000,000 for the Propulsion Research Lab for the development of a Crew Launch Vehicle Integrated Health Monitoring Fault Detection and Correction system;

$4,000,000 for infrastructure upgrades at the Wallops Island Flight Facility to accommodate unmanned aerial vehicles at existing hangars as well as the creation of ground support facilities for medium and high altitude UAV's and the definition and development of end to end concept of operations including payload-air vehicle integration and developing a standardized UAV design for civilian agencies;

$250,000 for the Geospatial Extension Specialist program at Utah State University;

$2,000,000 for high end computing capability at the Goddard Space Flight Center;

$4,000,000 for MSFC for the development of a knowledge management integrated data environment;

$500,000 for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to study the expansion of the Wallops Island Flight Facility into a next-generation, commercial cargo spaceport;

$1,250,000 for Spaceflight Health Monitoring Technology at Montana State University;

$2,000,000 for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington;

$400,000 for Applied Technology Center at Montana State University-Northern;

$1,500,000 for the NASA Langley Visitor Center for the ``Space Bound'' campaign;

$750,000 for the Aerospace Propulsion Particulate Emissions Reduction Program at the University of Missouri;

$5,000,000 for the High Altitude Deployment Demonstration (HADD) within the Planetary Aircraft Risk Reduction program (PARR) for integrating existing aircraft critical sub systems and conducting a flight-testing program using a full size prototype aircraft;

$1,000,000 for the Manufacturing Research Center at Southern Methodist University;

$3,500,000 for the Maryland Institute for Dexterous Space Robotics at the University of Maryland, College Park;

$2,000,000 for the Bio-Info-Nano Research and Development Institute at NASA Ames Research Center to be operated in conjunction with University of California at Santa Cruz;

$600,000 for the Montana Technology and Innovation Partnership;

$2,000,000 for continued operations of the National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia;

$2,000,000 for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development for broadband connection to the Wallops Island Flight Facility;

$1,000,000 for the Mitchell Institute, Portland, Maine for educational purposes; and

$375,000 for the Challenger Foundation for education software.

EXPLORATION CAPABILITIES

(INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

The conference agreement provides $6,663,000,000 for Exploration Capabilities instead of $6,712,900,000 as proposed by the House and $6,603,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. Changes to the budget request include an overall reduction for International Space Station of $80,000,000, of which $60,000,000 is for crew cargo services, a reduction of $10,000,000 for space communications, and $10,000,000 as a general reduction. The conferees have addressed funding and policy direction for the aeronautics research program under the Science, Aeronautics and Exploration account.

The conferees agree to the following:

1. The conference agreement provides a funding level for the International Space Station crew and cargo services program of $198,000,000, which includes $98,000,000 in carryover funds from fiscal year 2005 as well as $100,000,000 appropriated in this Act. This funding level should be sufficient to address NASA's needs in this area.

2. NASA is encouraged to utilize, to the fullest extent possible, commercially developed domestic cargo resupply and, ultimately, crew rotation capabilities for the International Space Station. This should be a priority for NASA. Utilizing the market offered by the International Space Station's requirements for cargo and crew will help to spur true competition in the private sector, result in savings that can be applied elsewhere in the program, and promote further commercial opportunities in the aerospace sector.

3. The conferees are concerned that construction of facilities projects that have been planned and deferred by NASA in the past have not been readdressed in a satisfactory manner. One such project is building 4601 at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The conferees direct NASA to begin construction of building 4601, beginning in fiscal year 2006, from within funds provided for the construction of facilities. Furthermore, construction funds should not be taken from the general and administrative services account to cover this activity.

4. NASA is reminded that it must request a reprogramming, in writing, to move or alter the purpose of any funds related to the Shuttle program, and that NASA must include the out-year impacts on all activities involved in such a reprogramming. In addition, NASA is directed to consult with the Committees on Appropriations on all proposed changes to investments in the Shuttle program. These consultations should occur before any final decisions are made.

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

The conference agreement provides $32,400,000 for the Office of Inspector General as proposed by both the House and Senate. The conference agreement includes bill language proposed by the Senate that extends the availability of funds until September 30, 2007.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

The conferees agree to the following:

1. Bill language is included as proposed by the House making minor technical changes to the language dealing with environmental compliance and restoration activities. The Senate bill had similar language.

2. Bill language is included as proposed by the House making minor technical changes to the language dealing with the availability of funds for construction of facilities. The Senate bill had similar language.

3. Bill language is included as proposed by the Senate dealing with prizes. Funding for the Centennial Challenge is not available for obligation unless authorized. The House bill had no similar language.

4. Bill language is included as proposed by the Senate that allows the merging of unexpired balances that are transferred to the new account established under this Act. The House bill had no similar language.

5. Bill language is included as proposed by the House that incorporated by reference the program, projects, and activities included in the statement of the managers accompanying this Act. The Senate bill had no similar language.

6. Bill language is not adopted as proposed by the House that would have allowed for the transfer of funds between appropriations accounts. The Senate bill had no similar provision.

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