NASA shifts funds to new priorities

As budgets tighten and priorities shift, NASA is cutting $1 billion from its pace operations budget, but spending more on other science and technology areas that will reshape the agency's mission, a new study shows.

“As NASA shifts priorities for human spaceflight from shuttle operations to human exploration capabilities and commercial spaceflight, the budget will be redirected to a range of technology development programs,” said Steve Bochinger, president of Euroconsult North America.

The firm and its partner Omnis Inc. have released a new study, NASA Spending Outlook: Trends to 2016, which analyzes NASA’s budget.

As space operations shrink, the science budget will be redistributed among NASA centers, Bochinger said.

Among the findings:
  • The Science Mission Directorate saw an 11 percent bump in 2011 and will have a $5 billion through 2016. Goddard Space Flight Center and Langley Research Center will benefit because of the work on Earth science projects.
  • The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will hold steady at about $3.9 billion but funds will shift away from human exploration activities.
  • The new Space Technology Directorate will get $1 billion a year from 2012 to 2016. Langley, Glenn and Ames research centers will benefit because of their work on new technologies for exploration and robotic spaceflight.
  • NASA is restructuring the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate to focus on fundamental aeronautics and development of technologies for the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

The study also predicts that NASA’s business practices will have to change with a shift from cost-plus contracting to more fixed-price contracting.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.