Congressional Spending Plan Slashes CCDev Request by 52 Percent

Credit: Parabolic Arc Space Blog

Lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a NASA budget that will provide $406 million to the Commercial Crew Development program, a 52 percent decrease from the $850 million requested by the Obama Administration. The amount exactly splits the difference between the $312 million the House proposed and the $500 million the Senate wanted to spend.

The overall spending plan is $17.8 billion, which is $100 million less than the Senate wanted but above the House’s proposed $16.8 billion budget. The Obama Administration had requested $18.7 billion. Key priorities in the Congressional plan include the Space Launch System, the Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle, and the James Webb Space Telescope.

NASA has said that a $500 million CCDev budget would cause commercial crew operations to the International Space Station would slip from 2016 to 2017. That would mean continuing to purchase flight services from the Russians for another year at approximately $450 million dollars annually.

Below are some of the highlights of the NASA budget plan, courtesy of the House Appropriations Committee:

  • $3.8 billion for Space Exploration, which is $30 million below last year. This includes funding
    above the request for NASA to meet Congressionally mandated program deadlines for the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System.
  • $4.2 billion for Space Operations, which is $1.3 billion below last year’s level. The agreement
    continues the closeout of the Space Shuttle program for a savings of more than $1 billion.
  • $5.1 billion for NASA Science programs, which is $155 million above last year’s level. The
    agreement accommodates cost growth in the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) by making commensurate reductions in other programs, and institutes several new oversight measures for JWST’s continuing development.
  • Language prohibiting NASA or the Office of Science and Technology Policy from engaging in bilateral activities with China unless authorized by Congress.

More [ HERE ]

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