NASA Appropriations and Authorizations: A Fact Sheet

National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA budget appropriations authorization reauthorization funding FY2018 2018 FY2019 2019 NASA congressional budget justification NASA budget request NASA operating plan Commerce-Justice-Science CJS appropriations P.L. 115-141 H.R. 5952 S. 3072 S. 21 NASA Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5503) National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 3799)

NASA Appropriations and Authorizations: A Fact Sheet

Updated January 8, 2019 (R43419)

Congressional deliberations about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) often focus on the availability of funding. This fact sheet provides data on past, current, and proposed FY2019 NASA appropriations, as well as authorizations for FY2019 appropriations.

Additional information on appropriations legislation affecting NASA is provided in CRS Report R45237, Overview of FY2019 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS), and similar reports for prior years.1 See also CRS In Focus IF10940, The James Webb Space Telescope; CRS In Focus IF10828, The International Space Station (ISS) and the Administration's Proposal to End Direct NASA Funding by 2025; and the discussion of NASA's use of commercial space capabilities in CRS Report R45416, Commercial Space: Federal Regulation, Oversight, and Utilization.

Table 1 shows appropriations for NASA from FY2013 through FY2018. The data for FY2013 through FY2017 include supplemental appropriations, rescissions, transfers, reprogramming, and, in the case of FY2013, sequestration. They are taken from NASA's congressional budget justifications for FY2015 through FY2019.2 Congressional budget justifications are available on the NASA budget website (http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/) for the current year and for past years back to FY2002. The table data for FY2018 are as enacted by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141). For amounts not specified in that act, see pages H2094-H2096 of the explanatory statement, published in the Congressional Record on March 22, 2018.

Table 2 shows FY2018 appropriations, as above; the Administration's request for FY2019; FY2019 amounts recommended in the 115th Congress by the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations; FY2019 amounts that would be appropriated by H.R. 21 as passed by the House on January 4, 2019; and FY2019 amounts that would have been authorized by House and Senate authorization bills in the 115th Congress. The Trump Administration's budget request for FY2019 adopted a new account structure for NASA. Proposed name changes are indicated in the table notes. In addition, the Administration proposed to transfer certain activities from the Deep Space Exploration Systems account (currently Exploration) to the Exploration Research and Technology account (currently Space Technology) so the amounts shown for those items represent somewhat different content in different columns.

Figure 1 shows NASA's total annual budget authority from the agency's establishment in FY1958 to FY2018, in both current dollars and inflation-adjusted FY2018 dollars.

Table 1. NASA Appropriations, FY2013-FY2018

(budget authority in $ millions)

 

FY2013

FY2014

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

Science

$4,782

$5,148

$5,243

$5,584

$5,762

$6,222

Earth Science

1,659

1,825

1,784

1,927

1,908

1,921

Planetary Science

1,275

1,346

1,447

1,628

1,828

2,228

Astrophysics

617

678

731

762

783

850

James Webb Space Telescope

628

658

645

620

569

534

Heliophysics

603

641

636

647

675

689

Aeronautics

530

566

642

634

656

685

Space Technology

615

576

600

686

687

760

Exploration

3,706

4,113

3,543

3,996

4,324

4,790

Exploration Systems Devel.

2,884

3,115

3,212

3,641

3,929

4,395

Orion

1,114

1,197

1,190

1,270

1,330

1,350

Space Launch System

1,415

1,600

1,679

1,972

2,127

2,150

Exploration Ground Systems

355

318

343

399

472

895

Commercial Spaceflight

525

696

a

a

a

a

Exploration R&D

297

302

331

355

395

395

Space Operations

3,725

3,774

4,626

5,032

4,943

4,752

Space Shuttle

39

0

8

5

0

0

International Space Station

2,776

2,964

1,525

1,436

1,451

n/s

Space Transportation

b

b

2,254

2,668

2,589

n/s

Space and Flight Support

910

810

839

923

903

n/s

Education

116

117

119

115

100

100

Space Grant

37

40

40

40

40

40

EPSCoR

17

18

18

18

18

18

MUREP

28

30

32

32

32

32

Other

34

29

29

25

10

10

Safety, Security, & Mission Svcs.

2,711

2,793

2,755

2,772

2,769

2,827

Construction and EC&R

661c

522

446

427

485d

562

Inspector General

35

38

37

37

38

39

Total

16,879c

17,647

18,010

19,285

19,762d

20,736

Sources: FY2013-FY2017 from NASA FY2015-FY2019 congressional budget justifications. FY2018 from P.L. 115-141 and explanatory statement, Congressional Record, March 22, 2018, pp. H2094-H2096. See text for details.

Notes: Some totals may not add because of rounding. R&D = Research and Development. EPSCoR = Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. MUREP = Minority University Research and Education Program. EC&R = Environmental Compliance and Remediation. n/s = not specified.

a. Included in Space Transportation under Space Operations.

b. Commercial Crew funded under Exploration. Remainder of Space Transportation included in International Space Station.

c. Includes $14 million (after sequestration) of supplemental funding from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-2) that is not shown in the NASA FY2015 congressional budget justification.

d. Includes $109 million in emergency funding from Sec. 540 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-31) that is not shown in the NASA FY2019 congressional budget justification.

Table 2. NASA Appropriations and Authorizations, FY2019

(budget authority in $ millions)

 

FY2018
Enacted

FY2019 Appropriations

FY2019 Auth.

 

 

Request

House
(115th)

Senate
(115th)

H.R. 21

House
(115th)

Senate
(115th)

Science

$6,222

$5,895

$6,681

$6,400

$6,400

$6,624

$6,400

Earth Science

1,921

1,784

1,900

1,931

n/s

1,921

n/s

Planetary Science

2,228

2,235

2,759

2,202

n/s

2,637

n/s

Astrophysics

850

1,185

1,029

1,243

n/s

1,375

n/s

James Webb Space Telescope

534

a

305

305

n/s

n/s

Heliophysics

689

691

689

720

n/s

691

n/s

Aeronautics

685

634

715

725

725

685

725

Space Technologyb

760

1,003

900

933

933

1,018

1,003

Explorationb

4,790

4,559

5,084

5,339

5,339

4,929

5,339

Exploration Systems Development

4,395

3,670

4,045

4,295

4,295

4,040

n/s

Orion

1,350

1,164

1,350

1,350

1,350

1,350

n/s

Space Launch System

2,150

2,078

2,150

2,150

2,150

2,150

n/s

Exploration Ground Systems

895

428

545

795

795

540

n/s

Exploration R&Db

395

889

1,039

1,044

1,044

889

n/s

Space Operationsb

4,752

4,625

4,625

4,639

4,639

4,625

4,639

International Space Station

n/s

1,462

n/s

n/s

n/s

1,462

n/s

Space Transportation

n/s

2,109

n/s

2,109

n/s

2,109

n/s

Space and Flight Support

n/s

904

n/s

n/s

n/s

904

n/s

Commercial LEO Development

150

150

40

n/s

150

n/s

Education

100

0

90

110

110

108

100

Space Grant

40

0

40

44

44

40

n/s

EPSCoR

18

0

18

21

21

18

n/s

MUREP

32

0

32

33

n/s

n/s

n/s

Other

10

0

0

12

n/s

n/s

n/s

Safety, Security, and Mission Services

2,827

2,750

2,850

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,850

Construction and EC&R

562

388

562

388

388

438

451

Inspector General

39

39

39

39

39

39

39

Total

20,736

19,892

21,546

21,323

21,323

21,215

21,546

Sources: FY2018 from P.L. 115-141 and explanatory statement, Congressional Record, March 22, 2018, pp. H2094-H2096. Request from FY2019 NASA congressional budget justification. House (115th Congress) from H.R. 5952 as reported and H.Rept. 115-704. Senate (115th Congress) from S. 3072 as reported and S.Rept. 115-275. House authorization from H.R. 5503 (115th Congress) as reported. Senate authorization from S. 3799 (115th Congress) as introduced.

Notes: Some totals may not add because of rounding. R&D = Research and Development. LEO = Low Earth Orbit. EPSCoR = Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. MUREP = Minority University Research and Education Program. EC&R = Environmental Compliance and Remediation. n/s = not specified.

a. $305 million included in Astrophysics.

b. In request and 115th Congress House bills, Space Technology is Exploration Research and Technology, Exploration is Deep Space Exploration Systems, Exploration R&D is Advanced Exploration Systems, and Space Operations is LEO and Spaceflight Operations. In S. 3072 (115th Congress) and H.R. 21, Education is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Opportunities. See text for content variations.

Figure 1. NASA Funding, FY1958-FY2018

Source: Compiled by CRS. FY1958-FY2008 from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Aeronautics and Space Report of the President: Fiscal Year 2008 Activities, http://history.nasa.gov/presrep2008.pdf, Table D-1A. FY2009-FY2012 from NASA congressional budget justifications, FY2011-FY2014. FY2013-FY2018 as in Table 1. Current dollars deflated to FY2018 dollars using GDP (chained) price index from President's budget for FY2019, Historical Table 10.1, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/hist10z1-fy2019.xlsx.

Note: Transition quarter between FY1976 and FY1977 not shown.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Science and Technology Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

See, for example, CRS Report R44877, Overview of FY2018 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS); CRS Report R44409, Overview of FY2017 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS); CRS Report R43918, Overview of FY2016 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS); CRS Report R43509, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2015 Appropriations; CRS Report R43080, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2014 Appropriations; CRS Report R42440, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2013 Appropriations.

2.

FY2016 and FY2017 Education amounts are not shown in the FY2018 and FY2019 congressional budget justifications and are instead taken from the explanatory statement for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (P.L. 114-113), Congressional Record, December 17, 2015, pp. H9741-H9743, and the explanatory statement for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-31), Congressional Record, May 3, 2017, pp. H3374-H3375.