NASA's FY 2012 Budget Request

Earlier today, President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2012. His plan asks us to live within our means in order to invest in the future. NASA accepts this challenge because we know that, in order to win the future, we must out-educate, out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world.

Here are a few highlights from NASA’s portion of the President’s budget:

• $18.7 billion for fiscal year 2012, which will require us to live within our means so we can make investments in our future.

• The budget supports all elements of our bi-partisan Authorization law enacted last year, including a reinvigorated path of innovation, technological development and scientific discovery.

• It includes $4.3 billion for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs, $5 billion for science, $3.9 billion for future exploration systems (includes $1.8 billion for a Space Launch System (SLS) and $1 billion for a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV); and $.8 billion for commercial crew) and $569 million for aeronautics research.

• The International Space Station will operate until at least 2020, allowing NASA to fully utilize it as a national laboratory for human health research and as a technology testbed.

• In these tight fiscal times, tough choices had to be made and NASA has prioritized funding for its partnership with the commercial space industry to facilitate crew and cargo transport to the station. Private companies will innovate to provide safe, reliable and cost effective access to low Earth orbit, and they will be encouraged to develop commercial low Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

• NASA also will invest in the flight systems to take humans beyond low Earth orbit, including a deep space capsule (MPCV) and evolvable heavy lift rocket (SLS), and key research and technology to enable the long journeys.

• NASA’s science budget supports both new missions and the many space observatories and Earth observing systems successfully carrying out their work now.

• With the fiscal year 2012 budget request, NASA will continue its commitment to enhancing aviation safety and airspace efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact of aviation.

• NASA remains dedicated to developing the next generation of technology leaders through vital programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Despite the challenges ahead, this responsible budget sets ambitious but achievable goals that foster America’s continued leadership in space and science exploration. It’s important for us to remember that here at NASA we reach for new heights to reveal the unknown so the things we learn and the things we do benefit all humankind. We DO BIG THINGS, and by working together, we can win the future!

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