The Obama administration has announced its 2012 budget request, which if approved would freeze spending for NASA and other federal agencies at 2010 levels for the next fiscal year. The 2012 budget request allocates $18.7 billion for NASA, the same amount the agency received in 2010. That's about $300 million less than NASA was alloted in the president's 2011 budget request. "The times today are very difficult fiscally, and we're going to live within a budget," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said at a press conference Monday. "What we do has to be affordable, sustainable, and it has to make sense."
Link – NASA Budget Tight
NASA is facing billions of dollars in budget cuts Svitak 11 (Amy, Staff @ SpaceNews, 3/18, http://www.spacenews.com/civil/20110318-money-woes-batter-planetary-budget.html)
NASA could be forced to impose a roughly $1 billion cap — including launch costs — on any new planetary flagship mission it undertakes this decade, far less than the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) recommended for this class of probe in its most recent survey of planetary priorities and more in line with what the agency spends on medium-sized missions. Jim Green, head of the Planetary Science Division at NASA headquarters here, said fiscal hard times necessitate a change in the way the agency develops and builds large-scale missions like the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C) that topped the NRC’s list of flagship-class planetary science priorities. The decadal survey pegged the cost of MAX-C, part of the U.S. contribution to a joint Mars campaign with the European Space Agency (ESA), at $3.5 billion, or possibly $2.5 billion if the mission were scaled back. “We really have to have a fundamental change in how we look at partnering and doing flagships,” Green said in a March 16 interview. “Maybe the real number is $1.2 [billion] or $1.3 billion, but it’s not $2.5 [billion],” he said, adding that once NASA accounts for other high-priority science objectives outlined in the survey, including small- and medium-sized robotic missions, $1 billion is all that remains. Budget cuts in NASA leads to loss of global leadership Svitak 11 (Amy, Staff @SpaceNews, 3/17, http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110317gop-lawmakers-appeal-for-manned-exploration-funds.html)
The members lauded America’s history of global leadership in space exploration but criticized Obama for what they said was undermining the nation’s leadership in space exploration. Obama’s plan also supports commercial astronaut transportation services and space technology development over deep space exploration systems favored by Congress. “[O]nce again, the Obama Administration’s budget willingly cedes that leadership to China, Russia and India — countries that understand the importance of human space exploration,” the letter states. “We cannot continue to accept this administration’s assault on American exceptionalism and world leadership.”
NASA has lost over 200 million from budgets Moskowitz 11 (Clara, Senior Writer @ space.com 4/15, http://www.space.com/11411-nasa-2011-budget-cuts-constellation-funding.html)
The new measure is a political compromise between democrats and republicans, and includes significant spending cuts in the 2011 federal budget. NASA will have to make do with about $18.5 billion, putting its budget roughly $240 million below last year's funding level. NASA and the rest of the federal government had been in limbo while lawmakers haggled over the budget. But on Thursday (April 14), Congress passed a spending measure called a continuing resolution that will cover the last five months of the year 2011.
NASA’s funding has been cut in technology and aerospace development Clark 11 ( Stephen, Staff @ SpaceNow, 4/14, http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1104/14budget/)
We appreciate the work of Congress to pass a 2011 spending bill," Bolden said. "NASA now has appropriated funds to implement the 2010 authorization act, which gives us a clear path forward to continue America's leadership in human spaceflight, exploration and scientific discovery." What's missing in the budget is a line item for technology development. The bill also cuts NASA's space operations budget by more than $600 million from the 2010 level, an expected reduction due to the planned retirement of the space shuttle. It also denies a boost in aeronautics funding requested by the White House last year.
Link – NASA Budget Tight
Ending of the shuttle program caused major budget cuts Fyke 11 ( Jeff, MBA in Pol. Science, 6/29, http://www.nerditorial.com/?p=1547)
2011 will be the year that sees the end of NASA’s shuttle program. There are only two launches left. Tomorrow, the Endeavour is scheduled to launch after a series of delays, and on 28 June, Atlantis will have its final launch. In a ceremony last month, NASA’s first flight director, Christopher C Kraft, lamented the close of this astounding program that commenced over 30 years ago: “I think the space shuttle is by far the greatest space ship we have ever built in this country… It’s too bad we’re not taking advantage of it for the next 30 years.” Whilst not the end of NASA by any means, the closing of the space shuttle program is a disappointment to many. It also represents a new, troubling strategy of budgetary cuts of government spending in the scientific fields, most notably astronomy and physics.
Budget is only larger enough for the last of the shuttle program Florida Today 11 (4/14, http://space.flatoday.net/2011/04/congress-approves-nasa-budget-cuts.html)
The U.S. House and Senate today both approved a spending plan for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year that cuts NASA's total budget by $241 million from 2010 levels, to $18.48 billion. The reduction is not believed to be deep enough to prevent NASA from flying a final planned shuttle mission in late June. The fiscal year ends Sept. 30. A statement from NASA chief Charlie Bolden doesn't specifically mention the shuttle flight, but says the agency can now implement legislation passed last year that says NASA "shall" fly the mission. The budget also removes language that prevented NASA from cancelling the Constellation program.
NASA has an incomplete budget now, and Obama will change plans for human spaceflights. Foust 11 (Jeff, Editor @ Space Review, 1/3, http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1752/1)
A new year brings with it new hopes for the future, and new resolutions to do things better, or differently, than before. The new year also brings with it its fair share of challenges, though, not to mention unresolved problems and other baggage from the previous year. Spaceflight is no exception to this. The past year was a tumultuous one for civil space in particular, as the Obama Administration rolled out a budget proposal with significant changes for the agency’s human spaceflight plans, triggering a vociferous debate that raged into the fall. While the passage of a new NASA authorization act that enacted some of those changes ended that chapter of the debate, NASA and commercial space still have a number of major challenges ahead of them in the coming year, from wrapping up its still-incomplete budget for 2011 and gearing up for future budget battles to pressing ahead with the end of the Space Shuttle, the continued development of commercial human spaceflight capabilities, and exploring new opportunities for international cooperation.
NASA’s budget is needed for human space flight Private Officer News 11 ( 2/24, http://privateofficernews.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/us-house-votes-to-transfer-298-million-away-from-nasa-and-spend-it-on-police-www-privateofficer-com/)
House conservatives such as Posey and Adams want NASA to stop spending money on climate-change research and spend it instead on space exploration. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, drafted – but later withdrew – an amendment to the spending bill that aimed to shift $517 million from climate research to exploration. “In this tight budget cycle, we must reduce duplicative spending and target our resources where they will be most beneficial,” Olson said. “The 15 other agencies conducting climate research can pick up the slack while freeing up resources for NASA to make a truly unique contribution – maintaining U.S. dominance in human space flight.” Adams said tens of thousands of jobs depend on NASA’s commitment to space exploration. “At a time when unemployment is at 12 percent in Florida and 9 percent nationwide and our country is facing trillion-dollar deficits, I believe that limited federal funds are better invested in NASA’s human space flight program, not climate-change research,” Adams said.