HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT
(including transfer of funds)
Fiscal year 2003 recommendation $6,130,900,000 Fiscal year 2002 appropriation 6,912,400,000 Fiscal year 2003 budget request 6,130,900,000 Comparison with fiscal year 2002 appropriation -781,500,000 Comparison with fiscal year 2003 request +0
This appropriation provides for human space flight activities, including development of the international space station and operation of the space shuttle. This account also includes support of planned cooperative activities with Russia, upgrades to the performance and safety of the space shuttle, and required construction projects in direct support of the space station and space shuttle programs. Starting with the fiscal year 2002 appropriation, this account also includes funding for activities previously carried in the Mission Support appropriations account.
The Committee recommends a total of $6,130,900,000 for the human space flight account in fiscal year 2003.
In the past this Committee and the Congress have been staunch supporters of NASA's efforts to upgrade its shuttle fleet in the areas of safety and reliability. It is with deep regret that the Committee notes that once again, major safety upgrades funded in prior years' budgets have been cancelled due to technological obstacles or cost constraints. The Committee is frustrated that NASA cannot seem to accurately evaluate the risks of its proposed upgrade program components and the cost of those components. The Committee directs NASA to undertake a serious evaluation of the process by which safety upgrades are proposed and approved, only to be cancelled or deferred less than one year later. NASA is directed to report to the Committee on Appropriations within 60 days on the steps being taken to correct deficiencies in the process.