WASHINGTON, 10 Feb. 2008. U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced a $17.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2009 to continue exploring the solar system, building the International Space Station, studying Earth from space, and conducting aeronautics research.
The NASA budget includes $5.78 billion for the space shuttle and space station programs, $4.44 billion for science, $3.5 billion for development of new manned spacecraft systems and $447 million for aeronautics research.
As many as six Space Shuttle missions are planned for next year, including a flight to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Money is in NASA's proposed budget also to continue developing the Orion spacecraft and Ares launch vehicles to replace the aging shuttle fleet and prepare for journeys to the moon and destinations beyond, NASA officials say. Federal fiscal year 2009 begins on 1 Oct. 2008.
NASA has 55 science missions in space, about half involving international partnerships, with 15 additional missions scheduled for launch by the end of 2009. NASA will dedicate $910 million during the next five years to develop new missions to add to our Earth-observing fleet of spacecraft.
As the International Space Station nears completion, the NASA budget provides funding to help spur development of commercial space transportation services to send cargo and possibly crews to the station after the shuttles retire in 2010. Without commercial providers, the United States will depend on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to carry astronauts between Earth and the space station.
NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale says the increase for NASA's 2009 budget demonstrates President Bush's commitment to the agency's missions. With the increase, NASA still accounts for less than 1 percent of the federal budget.