Shopping Cart  |  Intelligence Center


HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES MEDIA CENTER CONSULTING SERVICES DEMOS SALES OFFICES OUR COMPANY LOG IN

AEROSPACE & DEFENSE ELECTRONICS
AIRLINES, COMMERCIAL AVIATION & MAINTENANCE
AVIATION ENGINES, PROPULSION & AUXILIARY POWER UNITS
INDUSTRIAL & MARINE GAS TURBINES
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY MARKETS & BUDGETS - ASIA, AUSTRALIA & PAC RIM/EURASIA
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY MARKETS & BUDGETS - EUROPE
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY MARKETS & BUDGETS - NORTH AMERICA
MILITARY AIRCRAFT
MILITARY VEHICLES, ORDNANCE, MUNITIONS, AMMUNITION & SMALL ARMS
MISSILES & MISSILE SYSTEMS
NAVAL SHIPS AND OPERATING SYSTEMS
NON-US AEROSPACE/DEFENSE COMPANIES & CONTRACTS
REGIONAL, BUSINESS & GENERAL AVIATION
ROTORCRAFT
SPACECRAFT, LAUNCH VEHICLES & SATELLITES
US AEROSPACE/DEFENSE COMPANIES & CONTRACTS
Drones and Unmanned Systems - Air, Sea, Land, Micro & Robot Systems
UTILITIES, ROTATING MACHINERY & POWER GENERATION

 
NASA FINALLY SETS A DIRECTION UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP, BUT WILL PLANS MAKE IT THROUGH CONGRESS?
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

NASA is developing the SLS for deep space missions

Source: NASA


NASA is developing the SLS for deep space missions

Source: NASA


Close
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Along with the rest of the federal government, NASA released its Fiscal Year 2019 budget request on February 13. While NASA's budget faced few changes in President Donald Trump's first budget request in FY18, America's preeminent space agency faces a major change in focus for FY19.

NASA will need to make those changes with a largely similar budget from previous years. The $19.9 billion FY19 budget request represents a 1.9 percent increase compared to FY18 enacted levels, which itself was a 0.7 percent decline from FY17 spending levels. Still, NASA could consider itself lucky to receive an increase. The budget request calls for overall non-defense spending for 2019 at $57 billion below spending caps set by Congress in a recent budget deal.

While NASA's FY18 budget did not propose major changes, the FY19 budget does. The changes seem to share one common theme: NASA will increasingly focus on deep space exploration and planetary science at the expense of other major goals, such as low Earth orbit operations and Earth science.

The first clue that NASA will change its focus is in the changing of theme names. For example, the Exploration Systems theme was renamed Deep Space Exploration Systems. The Deep Space Exploration Systems theme now finds itself at the top of the list of programs in NASA's budget, replacing the Science theme, which resided there for years.

However, the changes go deeper than changes in name. Deep space exploration will define NASA in FY19 and likely during the remainder of President Trump's time in office.

Funding will continue to support development of the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew capsule. These systems will be used to carry human explorers and equipment to deep space locations, such as lunar orbit or Mars. Still, the Exploration Systems Development program, which funds SLS and Orion development, will see a 6.6 percent decline in funding between FY17 and FY19. The money will be redirected to the Advanced Exploration Systems program, which will receive $889 million under the President's plan, an increase from $97.8 million in FY17. The program will fund the study of cislunar capabilities, including habitation modules, crew mobility systems, vehicle systems, and autonomous and robotic technology needed to support exploration. NASA wants to utilize public-private partnerships to advance its cislunar goals, taking advantage of developments in commercial space. SpaceX's recent launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket demonstrates growing commercial capabilities that NASA wants to tap into.

In order to support human exploration goals, NASA's budget request calls or increased planetary science funding. Planetary science funding will increase 22.3 percent between FY17 and FY19. Funding will be used to continue development of the Mars 2020 rover and the Europa Clipper mission. The increases will be used to start a robotic lunar exploration mission as well as a planetary defense initiative.

Even as exploration and planetary science experience gains, other NASA missions will receive fewer funds in FY19. Money from these areas will be shifted in order to achieve the new goals. LEO and Spaceflight Operations, formerly known as Space Operations, will experience a 6.4 percent decline in funding between FY17 and FY19. NASA's Space Transportation program, which funds development of commercial crew and commercial transport vehicles, will see a decline of 18.6 percent between FY17 and FY19. NASA has said that it wants to encourage commercial development of low Earth orbit (LEO). Companies like SpaceX, Boeing, NanoRacks, and Bigelow Aerospace have ambitious plans in LEO. However, there is a chance that funding from NASA is being lowered before these companies have a chance to develop sustainable businesses.

Another area that will receive reduced spending is Earth science. The program will receive 6.5 percent less money in FY19 than it did in FY17. Spending cuts will force NASA to terminate Earth science missions PACE, OCO-3, DSCOVR, and CLARREO Pathfinder. The decline also reduces funding available for Earth science research grants. NASA had already suggested these missions may need to be terminated in the FY18 budget request. New for FY19 is a plan to increase focus on CubeSats. CubeSats, as well as other SmallSat form factors, may enable NASA to continue some missions with a reduced budget in the future.

Finally, the Astrophysics program will receive 12.3 percent less funding in FY19 than in FY17. In addition, the James Webb Space Telescope, which long had its own funding line, was rolled back into the Astrophysics program - further evidence of NASA's shifting focus away from science missions to exploration missions. Funding declines come as the JWST nears completion. NASA has also proposed terminating the WFIRST mission, which was planned to be the successor of the JWST. Under NASA's new direction, the agency did not have enough funds to pay for WFIRST construction as well as exploration missions. While WFIRST development will not be noticed early on, once Hubble and JWST reach the end of their useful lives, NASA may find it has a gap in space-based astronomical observation capabilities.

NASA's FY19 budget request is the start of a clearly new direction for the space agency. As NASA focuses on a clear mission, there are tradeoffs that will be made in the budget. In the past, NASA has been faulted with trying to do too many things. Without a clear focus, few efforts were successful. That led to the cancellation of Project Constellation and major delays and cost-overruns for its flagship JWST program. The new NASA budget seems to be attempting to avoid those problems in the past. On the other hand, those decisions have resulted in the proposed termination of some popular programs, especially the WFIRST.

These controversial decisions may have a hard time passing through Congress. Historically, NASA has had a difficult time terminating programs. For example, when Project Constellation was cancelled, Congress forced NASA to continue development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle and a crew capsule.

Source:  NASA
Associated URL: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/nasa_fy_2019_budget_overview.pdf
Source Date: February 13, 2018
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 02/13/2018

 

NOTICE TO USERS

Warranty: Forecast International makes no guarantees as to the veracity or accuracy of the information provided. It warrants only that the information, which has been obtained from multiple sources, has been researched and screened to the best of the ability of our staff within the limited time constraints. Forecast International encourages all clients to use multiple sources of information and to conduct their own research on source data prior to making important decisions. All URLs listed were active as of the time the information was recorded. Some hyperlinks may have become inactive since the time of publication.

Technical Support: Phone (203)426-0800 e-mail support@forecast1.com

Subscription Information: Phone (203)426-0800 or (800)451-4975; FAX (203)426-0223 (USA) or e-mail sales@forecast1.com

Aerospace/Defense News Highlights is published by Forecast International, 22 Commerce Road, Newtown CT 06470 USA. Articles that list Forecast International as the source are Copyrighted © 2018. Reproduction in any form, or transmission by electronic or other means, is prohibited without prior approval from the publisher.

Forecast International invites all interested companies to submit their announcements and press releases for review and inclusion in our Intelligence Letters.

Contact: Ray Peterson, Director of Research
E-Mail: Ray.Peterson@forecast1.com
Phone: 800-451-4975
FAX: 203-270-8919



HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES MEDIA CENTER CONTACT US PRIVACY STATEMENT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Forecast International © 2018 22 Commerce Rd Newtown, CT 06470 USA Phone: 203.426.0800 Toll-Free: 800.451.4975 (USA & Canada) Fax: 203.426.0223 info@forecast1.com