Budget: April 2013 Archives

Message From The NASA Administrator: New Policies in Response to Sequestration

"In addition, as I have previously stated, at this time, we do not plan to resort to furloughs for NASA employees to meet our spending reductions under sequestration, and there is currently no change to the Agency's existing hiring policy. Centers may continue to transact hires in all categories as planned in their submitted phased hiring plans up to their FY 2013 FTE ceilings. However, the Congress is currently considering NASA's full-year appropriations levels; and, as the legislative process concludes, we will assess the impact of the new funding levels and whether revisions to our current posture are warranted."

Keith's 22 April note: Furloughs loom across the Federal government. While other agencies openly talk about their furlough plans, NASA is not saying anything. Why is that? It has been a month since Charlie Bolden issued this memo and its mention of how NASA viewed furloughs. Nothing has been issued since then.

Keith's 25 April update: Bolden in a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee today: "If we do not come out of sequester for the 2014 budget then we will start to furlough people."

Keith's note: When he was asked by Lamar Smith at House Science Committee hearing on NASA's FY 2014 budget why two James Webb Space Telescope instruments were late, Charlie Bolden then tried to push that off as bad news reports. Bolden went on to say that he has been adamant that he takes full responsibility for the progress of Webb. Smith then read from the recent GAO report "NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects" citing this passage:

"... In addition, only two instruments have been delivered for integration with ISIM and the other two instruments will be delivered at least 11 months late."

When Smith asked Bolden again about the two late Webb instrments, Bolden's reponse was: "That's news to me"

GAO Report on Large-Scale NASA Projects, earlier post

House Space Subcommittee Reviews NASA's FY 2014 Budget Request

"Rep. Edwards: We need to take a careful look at how the resources requested match the program content included in the FY 2014 budget request. At the Full Committee hearing last week on the Fiscal Year 2014 budget request for Science Agencies, the President's Science Adviser, Dr. Holdren, testified that 'NASA has long had the problem of 20 lbs. of missions in a 10 Ib. budget, and they continue to.' I share that concern."

House Space Subcommittee Reviews NASA's FY 2014 Budget Request

Chairman Palazzo: "I am committed to ensuring that our nation has a robust space program that will continue to lead the world for generations. I am concerned however that NASA has neglected Congressional funding priorities and been distracted by new and questionable missions that detract from our ultimate deep space exploration goals. These distractions also take up precious lines in the budget at a time when NASA can least afford it."

Prepared Statements:

Rep. Lamar Smith

"The committee has seen little evidence that a current stated goal for NASA's human spaceflight program--namely, to visit an asteroid by 2025--has been widely accepted as a compelling destination by NASA's own workforce, by the nation as a whole, or by the international community. On the international front there appears to be continued enthusiasm for a mission to the Moon but not for an asteroid mission."

Rep. Steven Palazzo
Rep. Donna Edwards
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Charles Bolden

House Subcommittee on Space Hearing: Overview of the NASA Budget forFY 2014

- 2:00 PM Webcast
- Hearing charter

NASA Advisory Council Meeting (Webex/Dial-in)

1:00 pm EDT: NASA FY 2014 budget (Robinson)
2:00 pm EDT: NASA Plans for Future Human Spaceflight (Gerstenmeier)
3:00 pm EDT: Human Exploration and Operations Committee Report (Kohrs)
4:00 pm EDT: Science Committee Report (Huntress)

Proposed STEM Education Reorganization Contained in the President's FY14 Budget Request, Association of American Universities

"In follow-up to the discussion today at the Energy Sciences Coalition meeting, below is information provided by OSTP on the nature of the reorganization including a listing of the specific STEM education programs that will be eliminated/consolidated across federal agencies, as well as the new STEM education programs that the budget proposes."

JPL Open House Suspended

"Due to budget restrictions, plans for a JPL Open House in spring 2013 have been suspended. If budget considerations improve, JPL hopes to host an Open House at a future date, perhaps as early as fall 2013. Please check back here for updates."

2013 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop Imaging Planets and Disks Cancelled

"It is with regret that the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) announces the cancellation of this year's Sagan Summer Workshop (July 29-Aug 2, 2013) on the topic of "Imaging Planets and Disks". Like numerous other scientific conferences this year, the Sagan Workshop is a victim of the Federal budget sequestration."

Rep. Schiff and Senator Feinstein Call on NASA to Not Gut Planetary Science

"Today, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden calling on him to keep any operating plan for the fiscal year consistent with the funding levels and allocations directed to it by Congress earlier this year. There have been reports that the FY 2013 NASA Operating Plan will slash funding from the Planetary Science programs. Schiff and Feinstein were joined by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative John Culberson (R-TX) in sending the letter today."

Proposed STEM Education Reorganization Contained in the President's FY14 Budget Request, Association of American Universities

"In follow-up to the discussion today at the Energy Sciences Coalition meeting, below is information provided by OSTP on the nature of the reorganization including a listing of the specific STEM education programs that will be eliminated/consolidated across federal agencies, as well as the new STEM education programs that the budget proposes."

2013 STScI Spring Symposium and Habitable Worlds across Time and Space Cancelled, Space Telescope Science Institute

"We regret to announce that the 2013 STScI Spring Symposium, Habitable Worlds across Time and Space, has been cancelled. Space Telescope Science Institute operates as a NASA contractor. Our contractual obligations include support of workshops and seminars. In response to fiscal impacts resulting from the United States Government sequestration, NASA has temporarily suspended the contract authority and all funding that enables us to host conferences and seminars."

Editorial: Who Is Minding Planetary Research?, Planetary Exploration Newsletter

"The Administration and both houses of Congress openly support the planetary research programs, as demonstrated by proposed and appropriated budgets. It is PSD management that undermines their intent. Stop treating planetary research as a slush fund."

Tell Congress To Support Planetary Exploration at NASA, Planetary Society

"The White House has doubled down on its efforts to cut Planetary Science at NASA. It's proposing a cut of over $200 million, despite the fact that Congress rejected a similar cut for last year. This will prevent any mission to Europa. It delays for years efforts to send small spacecraft throughout the solar system, and will have long-lasting repercussions on the scientific and engineering community. We know Congress supports planetary exploration, but they need to hear from you."

Asteroids and Budgets

NASA Budget Priority: Asteroid Defense, Wall Street Journal

"Once again, NASA likely faces a stiff fight over its desire to ramp up funding to $820 million annually to help subsidize work on private taxis to transport astronauts to the orbiting space station. Congress has kept a lid on such appropriations at around $500 million. While seeking to increase investment in cutting-edge spacecraft propulsion and on-orbit refueling, NASA would lose nearly one-third of its current funding to foster interest and education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The proposed cuts are part of a governmentwide bid by the White House to consolidate so-called STEM education in three other agencies."

NASA mulls asteroid capture mission, eventual manned visits, CBS

"I hope it goes forward," said Rusty Schweickart, a former Apollo astronaut who helped found the B612 Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to building and launching a privately funded space telescope to search for threatening asteroids. "Asteroids are a very, very interesting area," he told CBS News in a telephone interview. "They're a hell of a resource, and I think the potential for long-term resource development for use in space is going to be a very big thing. And this is sort of step one. It's a baby step in a way, but it should be very interesting."

NASA Associate Administrator Statements on the Asteroid Initiative in the FY 2014 Budget Request

"The following are statements from the associate administrators of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Science Mission Directorate, and Space Technology Mission Directorate on the administration's budget request for the 2014 fiscal year."

Keith's note: Apparently the observations of Jaiwon Shin, the Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (about the budget), weren't deemed to be important enough to include. Oddly, NASA CFO Robinson and NASA Adminstrator Bolden made frequent mention of the Boeing 787 today during a budget media telecon.

2014 Federal Research & Development Budget Briefing (webcast)

"Officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other Federal departments and agencies with core science missions will discuss President Obama's FY 2014 R&D Budget."

NASA Administrator Discusses 2014 Fiscal Year Budget Proposal (webcast)

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will brief reporters about the agency's fiscal year 2014 budget proposal at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 10, during a media teleconference. NASA Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson will join the administrator."

NASA Administrator Bolden's Statement on the NASA FY 2014 Budget Request

"Today, we unveil President Obama's Fiscal Year 2014 budget request for NASA -- a $17.7 billion investment in our nation's future. Our budget ensures the United States will remain the world's leader in space exploration and scientific discovery for years to come, while making critical advances in aerospace and aeronautics to benefit the American people."

Keith's note: The White House loves to talk about education. So ... what do they do at NASA? They cut NASA education from $136.9 million in FY 2013 to $94.2 million in FY 2014. This is how they explain it: "In support of the Administration's FY 2014 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education plan, the Agency's education efforts will be fundamentally restructured into a consolidated education program funded through the Office of Education." This is not at all surprising given that OMB actually wants to move all of NASA's education activities to the Department of Education (they did not get their way on that this year). No explanation is offered as to what "restructured" means other than providing less money.

NASA FY 2014 Budget information

Senator: NASA to Lasso Asteorid, Bring it Closer, AP

"George Washington University Space Policy Institute Director Scott Pace, a top NASA official during the George W. Bush administration, was critical of the plan, saying it was a bad idea scientifically and for international cooperation. Instead, NASA and other countries should first join forces for a comprehensive survey of all possible dangerous space rocks, Pace said."

Russia may join asteroid retrieval mission, UPI

"Russia says its Roscosmos space agency may join NASA in an ambitious mission to capture an asteroid and bring it to a lunar orbit for exploration. ... [It is] a very interesting project, which NASA proposes to carry out jointly with Roscosmos specialists," Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin said."

Keith's note: It certainly seems like Russia is interested in this in contrast to what Scott Pace would have you think. Other countries will soon line up as well. Scott Pace should know that there is no technical or political reason not to do this mission and and asteroid survey in parallel i.e. simultaneously. It comes down to money (there seems to be some) and sources report that this mission will also see an enhancement in a variety of activities associated with NEO detection.

When it comes to Obama space policy and Scott Pace there always seems to be a lingering "what if" bitterness - of the sort often associated with talking about having lost some big game way back in high school. You have to know that if President Romney told Scott Pace to do this mission he'd have been absolutely thrilled at being given the opportunity.

- The Romney Campaign has a Space Policy Etch-A-Sketch, earlier post
- Double Standards and Sour Grapes From the Romney/Griffin Camp

Obama to take pay cut to draw attention to plight of federal workers facing furloughs, Washington Post

"President Obama plans to give up 5 percent of his salary this year to draw attention to the financial sacrifice of more than 1 million federal employees who will be furloughed by automatic spending cuts starting in less than three weeks. ... Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he will return a portion of his salary to share the pain with 750,000 Defense civilians who will lose 14 days of pay this fiscal year. The Environmental Protection Agency announced that Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe decided -- before the president's action became public -- to donate 32 hours of pay to a fund that provides emergency loans, child-care subsidies and other financial help to federal workers. And the Department of Housing and Urban Development disclosed that Secretary Shaun Donovan and eight politically appointed deputies will donate seven days worth of salaries. Their checks will either go back to the Treasury or to a nonprofit housing group that helps low-income Americans."

Keith's note: Is Charlie Bolden going to take a pay cut?



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This page is an archive of entries in the Budget category from April 2013.

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