The following is a statement by NASA Administrator Sean
O’Keefe regarding the Administration’s fiscal year 2005 budget

“The Administration’s 2005 budget request for NASA implements
the new U.S. space exploration policy. This budget for the 2005
fiscal year reflects the President’s vision, which is to
advance U.S. scientific, security and economic interests
through a robust space exploration program. This exploration
vision is affordable, fiscally responsible, and sustainable.

“As the President stated in his speech, we are embarking on a
journey, not a race. We begin this journey knowing that many
years of hard work will be required, yet we can look forward to
achieving exciting results in the near term.

“The new space exploration policy is the product of months of
extensive and careful deliberations. The importance of these
deliberations increased with the findings of the Columbia
Accident Investigation Board, which emphasized the importance
of setting clear, long-term goals for the nation’s human space
flight program.

“To achieve these goals, NASA will plan and implement an
integrated, long-term robotic and human exploration program
structured with measurable milestones. NASA will execute the
plan using the best available resources, accumulated experience
and technology.

“NASA’s budget will increase by $1 billion over the next five
years when compared with the President’s 2004 plan. That is an
increase of approximately five percent per year over the next
three years, and approximately one percent for the following
two years.

“Although the budget increases are modest, NASA will be able to
carry out a robust exploration program. During the next decade,
retiring the Space Shuttle will free over $4 billion annually,
enabling full-scale development and operation of robotic and
human moon missions.

“NASA will also invigorate its workforce, focus operations, and
revitalize field centers. As exploration activities get
underway, NASA anticipates planning, reviews and changes to
align and improve infrastructure. To achieve the exploration
vision, we will be making decisions on how to best implement
new programs. While some of these necessary actions will not be
easy, they are essential to the agency’s total effort.

“The vision makes the needed decisions to secure long-term U.S.
space leadership. It provides an exciting set of major
milestones with human and robotic missions. It pursues
compelling science and cutting-edge technologies. It invites
new ideas and innovations for accomplishing the vision. The
President’s challenging vision provides unique opportunities
for engaging students across the country, “as only NASA can,”
to enter careers in science, engineering, technology and math.

“The vision provides the opportunity for new generations of
Americans to explore, innovate, discover and enrich our nation
in ways unimaginable today.”

Information about the NASA vision and budget is available on
the Internet at: