The Administration’s FY07 Budget Request for NASA, an amount of $16.8 billion, represents a 3.2 percent increase with respect to the its FY06 allocation, if the FY06 emergency supplemental for Hurricane Katrina recovery is not taken into account. As such NASA finds itself in the fortunate position of being one of only a limited number of departments and agencies proposed for a budget increase in the next fiscal year.

The American Astronautical Society applauds this demonstration of Administration support for the nation’s civil space program in these fiscally difficult times. The Society is, however, concerned that NASA will once again find itself with program plans responding to the budget run-out guidelines that are neither balanced across areas or executable with reasonable risk.

On a number of previous occasions the Society has expressed its strong support for the Vision for Space Exploration and will continue to do so. However such support has to be contingent on support to all of NASA’s program areas at an adequate level.

As the Congress begins deliberations on this request, the Society hopes that it will keep in mind the budget projections laid out in the FY06 NASA Authorization Act it sent to the President.

The American Astronautical Society stands ready to work with the Administration and the Congress to ensure that future NASA funding levels and program plans are adequate to guarantee a balanced and executable civil space program that is of great value to the nation.