Editor's note: We will have ongoing budget news throughout the day including the actual budget documents when they are released shortly.
FY 2010 Budget Request
NASA rocket study stirs unease at Kennedy Space Center, Orlando Sentinel
"According to administration officials, NASA will announce tomorrow that it will convene a blue ribbon panel to examine, among other issues, whether the Ares I rocket and Orion capsule are the best option to send astronauts into orbit by 2015 after the shuttle retires next year. The panel will start as soon as this month and be finished by September."
"The Planetary Society gives the Administration's proposed NASA budget a thumbs up for its increased funding for space and Earth science, more Earth observation satellites, firm support for robotic exploration of the solar system and the development of the new Ares/Orion launch vehicles to replace the space shuttle."
Editor's note: I'm a little surprised at the "thumbs up" support and positive spin the Planetary Society is putting on this budget. Without a new administrator in place and a review of the Constellation program set to start shortly, along with the potential consequences of that review, I would not categorize the state of affairs at NASA in such a positive light.
Frank's note: The handwriting is on the wall. While NASA dodged a bullet in FY2010, the agency's future is really at stake. While it could have been worse, there is nothing in here to suggest a long term commitment to either the moon or Mars. Ares? only in our dreams.
Editor's Update: It should be noted that after the Blue Panel completes it human spaceflight review, NASA will provide an updated request for the Exploration activities portion of the budget reflecting the review's results.
Editor's Update: NASA's budget request combined with FY 2009 appropriations provides a $1.8 increase to NASA's programs in FY 2009 and FY 2010. This includes a $630M increase for Exploration, $456M increase for Science and $263M increase for Areronautics.
It should be noted this is increase is in part because of the $1 billion provided to NASA as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Looking forward things don't look so rosy. FY2011 & FY2012 see a small decline in projected budgets while FY2013 sees no growth. Scolese said in reference to future budgets "then recognizing fiscal realities in developing a fiscally responsible budget, it doesn't grow, it doesn't grow as fast as any us would like, but those are the realities that we live with".
Scolese was trying to make the case that the Obama administration is very supportive of NASA and that in fact he had seen the President no less than three times in the last month. However if the Obama administration was so supportive, why not name a new administrator? And if Scolese is doing a good job, why not remove the acting from his title and make it official.
Video of NASA FY 2010 Budget Press Briefing on next page.