House Appropriations Report on NASA FY 2019 Budget

Report to Accompany House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2019 (PDF)

"The Committee on Appropriations submits the following report in explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes."

(NASA starts on Page 57).

Moon exploration.-- The recommendation fully funds the Moon exploration initiatives requested throughout NASA but includes bill language limiting obligation of these funds until a multi-year plan, with specific goals and funding requirements by fiscal year, is submitted to the Committee. The Committee believes that without firm goals and specific years by which to achieve those goals, programs could drift and languish. The Committee notes how clear mission goals and deadlines can galvanize an agency and a nation behind that mission. The Committee supports additional lunar exploration and partnerships with industry and academia that will ensue as a result of these new missions and believes that efforts focused on the Moon will serve as risk reduction activities toward human exploration of Mars. The Committee believes that human and robotic exploration of Mars and other destinations in our Solar System and beyond must be the goals of NASA--that striving to go farther into space pushes NASA and its academic and industry partners to be bold and aggressive. While the Committee is supportive of renewed focus on the Moon, these programs must not exhaust funding for other science priorities recommended by the National Academies Decadal Survey process.

Long-term planning.-- The request includes significant new funding to support NASA's proposed Moon program. However, notional outyear budgets to implement this new initiative and the wide range of other ongoing and anticipated future decadal missions are unrealistic. The Committee is supportive of efforts focused on the Moon as well as current robotic missions to Europa and Mars; moving forward with a refocused WFIRST; and building a hypersonic research aircraft. These and many other NASA missions and programs inspire the nation and spur the next generation of scientists and explorers. The Committee directs NASA to submit realistic outyear budgets that show the level of investment required in future years to accomplish the variety of NASA missions and refrain from submitting budgets that are not executable in a timely fashion, as they serve only to hinder effective long-term planning which in turn results in higher overall program costs.

Program and project totals.-- The Committee's program and project recommendations for NASA are included in the consolidated funding table below and in narrative direction throughout this report. The Committee reminds NASA that any deviations from the amounts included in the table below are subject to section 505 requirements of this Act. When executing its budget for fiscal year 2019, NASA shall incorporate the funding levels established in both the table and the narrative direction. NASA is reminded that comity has existed between the Congress and the Executive Branch with respect to abiding by language included in this report and in the accompanying bill. The Committee expects NASA to respect this long-standing practice.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 16, 2018 10:19 AM.

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