Bad Budget News For NASA

Text of the House Amendments to Senate Amendment to H.R. 2764 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) Division B--Commerce, Justice, Science

"That, of the amounts provided under this heading, $5,577,310, 000 shall be for Science, $625,280,000 shall be for aeronautics research, $3,842,010, 000 shall be for exploration systems, and $556, 400, 000 shall be for cross-agencys upport programs: Provided further, That the amounts in the previous proviso shall be reduced by $57,900,000 in corporate and general administrative expenses and the reduction shall be applied proportionally to each amount therein: Provided further, That none of the funds under this heading shall be used for any research, development, or demonstration activities related exclusively to the human exploration of Mars."

Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany Consolidated Appropriations Amendment Division B--Commerce, Justice, Science

"NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION The amended bill provides $17,309,400,000 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) instead of $17,622,500,000 as proposed by the House and $17,459,600,000 as proposed by the Senate. The Senate bill included an additional $1,000,000,000 designated as an emergency requirement. The amended bill does not include this emergency funding."

"The amended bill includes a rescission of $192,475,000 from unobligated balances available" from prior year appropriations, instead of $69,832,000 as proposed by the House. The amended bill includes language requesting that within 30 days after the date of the enactment of this section the Administrator shall submit to the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate a report specifying the amount of each rescission made pursuant to this section." [Source]

"The amended bill provides $160,000,000 for the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which is intended to demonstrate private sector technologies that could potentially resupply the International Space Station in the future. However, the Appropriations Committees note that one of the two COTS contracts is currently in dispute, and are concerned by NASA's recent decision to re-compete the disputed contract before all challenges have been resolved. In doing so, NASA could potentially create a liability to fund three proposals instead of two as originally envisioned, increasing the costs of this program to the taxpayers. Therefore, NASA is directed not to select a new contractor until all challenges are decided. Further, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is directed to perform a full review of COTS program expenditures and management." [Source]

"In order to assist Congress in determining the optimal approach regarding t h e Arecibo Observatory, NASA shall contract with the National Research Council to study the issue and make recommendations. As part of its deliberations, the NRC shallreview NASA's report 2006 Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Study - and its associated March 2007 Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Study as well as any other relevant literature. An interim report, with recommendations focusing primarily on the optimal approach to the survey program, shall be submitted within 15 months of enactment of this Act. The final report, including recommendations regarding the optimal approach to developing a deflection capability, shall be submitted within 21 months of enactment of this Act. The NRC study shall include an assessment of the costs of various alternatives, including options that may blend t he use of different facilities (whether ground- or space-based), or involve international cooperation. Independent cost estimating should be utilized." [Source]

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 17, 2007 11:13 PM.

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