Given a tough fiscal environment surrounding the FY 2014 omnibus, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ranks among those agencies that have fared relatively well coming out of appropriations, all things considered. According to AAAS estimates, NASA R&D would rise substantially from FY 2013 post-sequester levels, by 10.8 percent, and by 3.5 percent above FY 2012 funding in nominal dollars, though this increase disappears when adjusting for inflation.
The space agency's total budget will actually come down below FY 2012 levels in nominal dollars, though this is partly due to the retirement of the Space Shuttle, which is now off the books, and to cuts in general institutional support. The biggest winner in terms of funding is the Exploration account — especially the Administration's program to support private industry spaceflight. Most other R&D programs recover significant funding from post-sequester spending levels and surpass the request, while still falling short of FY 2012 funding when factoring in inflation. And most programs end up closer to the Senate's recommendations from last summer than the House numbers, which were much lower across the board.
Items to note:
The overall NASA budget will end up much closer to the Senate proposal than the House, but in historical terms will remain 12.9 percent, or $2.6 billion, below its 2010 peak in constant dollars.