Friday, April 12, 2013

NASA Releases Proposed FY14 Budget

Click the arrow to watch the NASA video summarizing its proposed FY14 budget.

Lost in all the hoopla about this week's asteroid initiative was the rest of NASA's proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

In reality, the proposal means little, because under the U.S. Constitution it's the Congress that makes budgets, not the executive branch. The White House submits a proposed budget but Congress can do what they want with it.

A quirk in the Constitution separates the budget from the actual money provided. The Appropriations Committees in each house decide how much money to make available. It can be more, less or the same as the budget.

When you add to the witches' brew other toxic ingredients like continuing resolutions and sequestration, you have no idea what will come out of the cauldron.

For example ... The 2010 NASA Authorization Act authorized for commercial crew $500 million in FY12 and $500 million in FY13. In the real world, Congress gave commercial crew $406 million in FY12 and, with sequestration, will come in somewhere around $488 million for FY13. The White House budget proposals requested $850 million for FY12 and $830 million for FY13.

The White House is requesting $821.4 million in FY14. Good luck with that.

The April 10 Florida Today had an article detailing parts of the budget affecting Kennedy Space Center.

Center Director Bob Cabana outlined spending levels for various programs Florida Today described as “in the works”:

  • NASA is talking with an unidentified commercial company for the use of Launch Complex 39A, which the agency abandoned in place.
  • Negotiations also are ongoing with potential users of two shuttle processing facilities.
  • $99.2 million for repairs and modifications to the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Launch Control Center, among other complex 39 facilities.
  • $39 million for the first phase of a new Central Campus that would replace the current KSC Industrial Area administrative office facilities.
  • $14.9 million to upgrade environmental control systems in the Launch Complex 39 area to support new Space Launch System rockets.

For more budget wonkery, Wikipedia has a good overview of the U.S. budget process.

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