[SatNews] The Space Foundation has offered its support for the Administration's FY15 budget proposal for NASA, calling the budget proposal a "balanced approach to sustaining key NASA programs and capabilities, while increasing emphasis on next generation capabilities—within a budget constrained environment."
"The president's proposal of $17.46 billion in FY15 funding for NASA is very close to the FY14 appropriation of $17.64 billion," said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham. "Additional NASA funding proposed within the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative would increase NASA's FY15 funding to $18.4 billion. With NASA's budget at a historic low as a percentage of the federal budget, we strongly support the $18.4 billion proposal as a bare minimum."
Pulham noted several areas within the budget proposal where "NASA is moving smartly to preserve core capabilities and programs, while accelerating the vitally important commercial crew program. The increase of funding for commercial crew programs from $696 million in FY14 to $848 million in FY15 could not come at a better time. Soyuz prices are set to increase yet again, and our dependence upon Russia for key space capabilities is certain to be scrutinized in view of world events. All International Space Station budget lines would be fully funded," added Pulham, "which is important to sustaining ISS operations to 2024."
The administration has proposed a slight decrease in funding for the SLS and Orion programs, from $3.1 billion in FY14 to $2.8 billion in FY15—$2.9 billion when Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative funds are considered.
"The budget preserves Orion Experimental Flight Test #1 for later this calendar year, which is important," Pulham said. "Overall lower funding still introduces schedule risk and puts further pressure on the industrial base."
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