The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News

Number 19: February 15, 2000

FY 2001 NASA Budget Request: Space Science; Life & Microgravity

“For the first time in seven years, the NASA budget [request] is
going up – $435 million in 2001.” — NASA Administrator Dan

The total FY 2001 budget request for NASA is $14,035.3 million,
an increase of $434.5 million, or 3.2 percent, over FY 2000
funding. Within this request, Space Science would see an
increase of 9.4 percent, and Life and Microgravity Sciences and
Applications would grow by 10.1 percent. Earth Science would
undergo a major restructuring of its budget and see its funding
drop by 2.6 percent. Within the Human Space Flight account,
Space Station funding would be cut by 9.0 percent.

“Today we take the next major step in decreasing our involvement
in operations and increasing our investment in cutting-edge R&D,”
NASA Administrator Dan Goldin announced on February 7 at the
space agency’s FY 2001 budget briefing. “The best indicator of
this change is how we balance our human space flight with our
science and aerospace technology investments. Over the past
decade, our science and aerospace technology investment went from
31 to 41 percent of our budget. In the next five years, we will
raise our investment to 51 percent.”

Below are highlights of the budget requests for the Space Science
and the Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications accounts.
A subsequent FYI will cover the request for Earth Science, and
Human Space Flight.

SPACE SCIENCE REQUEST: $2,398.8 million; up 9.4 %

Space Science                      FY 2000          FY 2001
program                            Appropriation    Request
    (In millions)
Space Science Total                 $2,192.8       $2,398.8
Chandra X-ray Observatory                4.1           -
Relativity Mission (GP-B)               49.9           13.8
HST Development                        160.1          168.1
SOFIA                                   39.0           33.9
SIRTF                                  123.4          117.6
TIMED                                   27.5            -
Payloads                                13.6            7.1
Explorer Development                   122.3          138.8
Mars Surveyor Program                  248.4          326.7
Discovery                              154.8          196.8
Mission Operations                      75.4           80.0
Supporting Research & Technology     1,179.3        1,302.8
Additional Funding for
  Academic Programs                   (10.2)           13.2
Undistributed Reduction                -5.0              -  

Space Science would grow by $206.0 million. According to NASA
budget documents, this request includes a $20 million
augmentation for a new initiative entitled “Living With A Star,”
which is intended “to better study solar variability and
understand its effects on humanity.” NASA expects that
operations will begin on at least 13 space science missions
before the end of FY 2001. These include the Relativity Mission
(Gravity Probe-B), to be launched in September 2001; the
Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics & Dynamics
(TIMED) in fall of 2000; the three Explorer missions MAP, CATSAT,
and GALEX in FY 2001; and the Discovery mission Genesis in
January 2001. “In light of the failed Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO)
and Mars Polar Lander (MPL),” the budget document states, “the
entire Mars Surveyor Program, including the 2001 Mars Surveyor
Orbiter and Lander, is undergoing major re-planning activity.
The FY 2001 Budget provides additional funding in this line,
above last year’s runout projections, to support development and
deployment of concepts at Mars that could enhance the science
return and overall success of future missions.”

LIFE & MICROGRAVITY S&A: $302.4 million; up 10.1 %

Life & Microgravity Sciences            FY 2000        FY 2001
and Applications program                Appropriation  Request
(In millions)
Life/Microgravity S&A Total             $274.7         $302.4
Advanced Human Support Technology         30.2           30.9
Biomedical Research & Countermeasures     57.2           76.9
(Construction of Facilities)              (9.0)          (8.5)
Fundamental Biology                       38.2           39.2
Microgravity Research                    108.8          129.3
Health Research                            8.7           11.3
Space Products Development                14.4           13.6
Mission Integration                       17.2            0.2
Additional Funding for
    Academic Programs                     (1.0)           1.0

The Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications
(OLMSA) would receive an increase of $27.7 million. According to
budget documents, OLMSA is proposing a Bioastronautics Initiative
to augment biomedical research activities already underway.
“Bioastronautics research is an interdisciplinary set of focused
research activities bringing together biology, physics,
chemistry, communications technology and nano-technologies that
will revolutionize medical care delivery in space and on
Earth…. The OLMSA projects contributing to this Initiative are
Advanced Human Support Technology, Biomedical Research and
Countermeasures, Microgravity Research and Health Research.”

Audrey T. Leath
Public Information Division
The American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3094