WASHINGTON -- The White House is seeking a roughly 1-percent increase for NASA for 2007.
President George W. Bush's 2007 request, which is due to be sent to Congress and released to the public Feb. 6, includes $16.792 billion for NASA.
Congress last year approved $16.6 billion for NASA for 2006, a sum that included $350 million in hurricane-recovery money and also a 1.28-percent rescission. Not counting that money, which NASA needs to repair its Gulf Coast facilities damaged last year by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the White House request would represent a 3-percent increase over the 2006 level.
Within the NASA request, roughly $6.2 billion would go to the international space station and space shuttle programs, about $3.9 billion would go toward the development of new human and unmanned spacecraft needed to replace the shuttle and send astronauts to the Moon, about $5.3 billion would go to space and Earth science missions, and about $720 million would go to aeronautics research.
NASA has yet to release its 2006 operating plan, so it is not yet publicly known how much the agency intends to spend on each of its majors programs. Based on last year's request, however, NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, which is developing the hardware NASA needs for its return to the Moon, appears to be in line for the biggest increase. The $3.9 billion NASA is requesting for those efforts for 2007 is roughly $700 million more than it planned to spend this year.
The Space Operations Mission Directorate's budget, which pays for the space shuttle and space station programs, would decline slightly under the 2007 plan, while NASA's Science Mission Directorate would see only a modest 1-percent increase.
Aeronautics spending would be held essentially flat.