“This morning, the President announced the Fiscal Year 2007 budget
request for the entire federal government. This includes a $16.8
billion request for NASA, which represents a 3.2 percent increase
over the 2006 budget appropriated for NASA, not counting our
emergency supplemental needed to recover from Hurricane Katrina.

This budget, with an increase over last year’s appropriation,
demonstrates the President’s commitment to carrying out the Vision
for Space Exploration, which he articulated from this stage just over
two years ago, and especially so in view o the other pressures on the
government in the wake of the greatest natural disaster our nation
has faced and the war on terrorism.

However, let me put our budget in overall perspective. NASA’s budget
is roughly 0.7 percent of the overall federal budget. This is a
modest investment to extend the frontiers of space exploration,
scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. With it, we enhance
American leadership, our safety and security, and our global economic
competitiveness through the technological innovations stemming from
our space and aeronautics research programs. As we look forward to
the events that will define this century and beyond, I have no doubt
that the expansion of human presence into the solar system will be
among the greatest of our achievements. I am proud that America,
through NASA, leads the way.

But leadership means setting priorities of time, energy, and
resources, and leadership means making difficult decisions based on
the best facts and analysis available. One plain fact is NASA simply
cannot afford to do everything that our many constituencies would
like us to do. We must set priorities, and we must adjust our
spending to match those priorities.

Setting these priorities and formulating the budget to reflect them
is, in many respects, the foremost policy decision a NASA
Administrator makes in the course of working with the White House and
Congress. Our democracy demands a healthy debate on such funding
priorities, and I believe that this budget provides a balanced
approach in setting them.

NASA is implementing the priorities set by the President and the
Congress within the resources provided. This budget demonstrates our
national commitment to implementing the Vision for Exploration. It
balances NASA’s mission to complete the assembly of the International
Space Station and fulfill our international partner commitments,
while using the minimum number of Shuttle flights to do so. It
supports our goal of bringing the Crew Exploration Vehicle online no
later than 2014, and potentially much sooner. It provides over $5.3
billion in funding for NASA’s science missions and over $724 million
for aeronautics research. The FY07 budget also provides almost $500
million for cross-agency support programs, such as science and math
education, innovative partnerships for NASA to leverage commercial
industry, and development of the unified agency-wide management
systems to get NASA’s finances in better order. NASA must be a good
steward of the taxpayer’s money, and we must change the way we have
done business in the past in order to achieve this goal.

We must seek innovative ways to leverage, to the maximum extent
practicable, the investments being made by commercial industry and
through international partnerships. We must plan executable programs
with priority given to the required timing and affordability of
needed capabilities. As I have testified previously to the Congress,
we will go as we can afford to pay, and we will set priorities for
our time, resources, and energy. For example, NASA’s exploration
architecture cannot afford the robust space nuclear R&D program that
was previously planned. Thus, rather than engaging in them halfway,
we have cut back those efforts. But because it is important in the
long run, we will seek to leverage the work of other nations which
have developed small nuclear reactors that could be applied to space.

Following Congressional direction to strive to bring the CEV online as
soon as possible after 2010, as part of a balanced exploration
program, NASA is cutting back on Space Station research in order to
allocate funding to the CEV. However, as designated by the NASA
Authorization Act, the International Space Station is a National
Laboratory. Therefore, NASA seeks partnerships with other government
agencies and the commercial sector to conduct research onboard the

So, let me now address NASA’s plans within the five year budget
horizon to carry out the task of assembling the International Space
Station with the fewest possible Space shuttle flights, and then to
retire the Shuttle in 2010. As I testified before this Congress last
November, we were working through the problem of a $3 to $5 billion
shortfall for FY2006 to FY2010 to carry out these ISS assembly
missions. In previous years, NASA’s Shuttle budget had assumed
certain placeholder numbers in the out years that were clearly
insufficient to complete the mission. We have solved this problem
with the Shuttle funding shortfall in the 2007-11 budgets, again
consistent with the policy direction provided by the President and
Congress. We still have challenges in implementing this plan, so let
me delve into it a bit. When I presented NASA’s exploration
architecture to the Congress and public last September, the budget
profile for that architecture was simply the FY 2006 budget run out
identified for Exploration Systems, not other parts of the NASA

That view of the exploration budget did not account for other problems
with the shuttle budget in the out years. We’ve worked hard to
address this problem more holistically in the FY 2007-11 budget
formulation. We also are delving more deeply into the strategic
implications of using shuttle-derived launch systems for the Crew
Launch Vehicle and Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle. We believe that
significant synergies and contract efficiencies between subsystems,
personnel, resources, and infrastructure can be found. Thus, we are
applying some funds from the exploration budget profile between now
and 2010 to the shuttle’s budget line to ensure the shuttle and
station programs have the resources necessary to carry out the first
steps of the Vision for Space Exploration. The greatest management
challenge the agency faces over the next five years is the transition
from retiring the shuttle to bringing the crew exploration vehicle

The implications of this program and budget synergy between the
shuttle and CEV launch vehicle programs are the following: The budget
is sufficient to bring the CEV online by 2014 at the latest, and
possibly much sooner. NASA has asked industry for proposals to bring
the CEV online as close to 2010 as possible and not later than 2012.
In the months ahead, NASA will receive those industry proposals,
evaluate them for technical and cost viability, and define savings
from these integrated shuttle and exploration budget profiles. The
bottom line is this: NASA’s plans are to bring the CEV online as
close to 2010 as possible, but not later than 2014. Given the
analysis we have today, we cannot set a more definitive target date
for the CEV to our stakeholders in the White House and Congress. But
I believe that with the budget proposed today NASA and industry have
a real opportunity to make the CEV operational much sooner than 2014.
The transition between the shuttle retirement and bringing the CEV
online requires NASA and industry to work as a team in the months and
years ahead. NASA is in source selection with the CEV procurement,
and we will not go beyond my comments here.

I will now turn to NASA’s space science portfolio, which remains one
of the nation’s crown jewels. The agency’s budget for space and Earth
science has seen significant budget increases for over a decade, far
surpassing any growth in NASA’s top-line budgets during those years.
For FY 2007-11, we cannot afford such growth for science within the
context of a top-line budget that is growing at essentially the rate
of inflation. Thus, NASA’s science budget will grow by 1.5 percent in
FY 2007 and 1 percent thereafter between 2008 and 2011.

As we work closely with our international partners and the science
community, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate remains a world leader,
operating 56 space missions with an annual budget of over $5.3
billion per year. The FY 07 budget provides funds for an armada of
satellite missions to make scientific measurements of changes in the
salinity of our oceans and land resource uses, test instruments for
the next-generation of polar-orbiting weather satellites, monitor
solar flare impacts on the Earth’s magnetosphere, landing the next
generation of rovers on Mars, and peering into the farthest reaches
of the universe with the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes.

Turning to Aeronautics Research, the $724.4 million allocation in the
President’s budget will begin the process of re-establishing NASA’s
dedication to the mastery of our core competencies in subsonic,
supersonic, and hypersonic flight. We have begun the development of
aeronautics research programs that are focused, relevant, and of
interest to a broad research community in government, industry, and

While I am concerned that our nation’s aviation industry not lose
market share to global competitors, NASA’s aeronautics research
cannot and will not directly subsidize work to specific corporate
interests. Rather, NASA’s R&D must benefit the American public by
supporting the broader community of aeronautics researchers. There
are fundamental questions in aeronautics research needing to be
answered, and NASA will focus its aeronautics research on those
issues. By refocusing our efforts on fundamental issues in
aeronautics, we can best serve the longer term needs of our industry.

Beyond the purely budgetary perspective, I would now like to discuss
NASA’s most important resource: our people. The NASA management team
has been working on the issues and means to rebuild NASA so as to
have 10 healthy centers known for technical greatness. We continue to
define program management and research roles and responsibilities for
each center in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration,
scientific discovery, and aeronautics research.

I will ensure that all of our centers contribute to NASA’s primary
mission of space exploration and discovery. We are beginning the
process of assigning specific research programs and projects to
appropriate NASA centers. We are not done, but we are taking steps in
the right direction. We have many challenges in the agency, but none
more important than the technical excellence of NASA’s workforce.
Likewise, we are beginning to address the issues of NASA’s facilities
and physical assets. We have a lot of work cut out for us in the
coming months and year ahead.”