NASA gets more than it wants at US$18 billion as SLS receives strong support

by | Dec 16, 2014 | Commercial human spaceflight, commercial launch services, exploration, NASA, Science, SLS | 0 comments

While it occupies just a small portion of the spending in the trillion dollar budget of the US Government, as that was passed by Congress and the US Senate, NASA unexpectedly found itself a winner at this year’s throw of the dice.  The Administration has been awarded US$18.01 billion as its budget for the fiscal year 2015 – some US$549 million more than the administration actually asked for, and US$350 million higher than this year’s funding.

Within the budget itself there were some big winners and a few smaller losers.  With strong congressional and Senate support, the SLS rocket was awarded US$1.7 billion in funding – some US$320 million more than NASA requested.  Meanwhile, the Orion manned capsule receives US$1.194 million – again US$141 million more than requested.  Despite these extra amounts, NASA is at pains to note that the first SLS/Orion flight will still not be before 2018. This is a change of tack by NASA, as previously (and a little disingenuously), a lack of funding for SLS was hinted at as the likely cause of any SLS launch delay.

Actually, the development of SLS is known to be going well, along with that of the Orion capsule.  As such, it could be the construction of launch and ground support facilities and the development of the Orion Service module (by ESA) which determines the date of the first SLS flight.

While NASA has reduced its selection for further funding to just two Commercial Crew Programme runners, Boeing and SpaceX, (DT comment: NASA foolishly dropped the better longer term solution – the Dreamchaser mini-shuttle by Sierra Nevada), the programme has less support in Congress and thus receives US$805 million, a little less than the US$848 million requested.

While most of the other programmes more or less got what they wanted, planetary science was a winner with US$150 more than requested at US$1.44 billion.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

SLS is delayed again by a hydrogen leak but repair allows another go…but when?

Having had its previous launch attempt on 29 August scrubbed by an engine temperature sensor issue, a second attempt to Read more

SLS maiden launch carrying Artemis I has first attempt scrubbed by engine sensor concern (Updated and corrected)

The much awaited first flight of the US SLS (Space Launch System) launch vehicle carrying the NASA Artemis I test Read more

NASA’s SLS heavy lift rocket is passed for lunar duty after completing curtailed fuelling and countdown test

NASA’s plans for unmanned and later human launches to the Moon have been given the green light to proceed after Read more

SLS Wet Dress Rehearsal is dogged by delays which eventually postpones it

The much delayed SLS Heavy-lift Launch Vehicle (HLV) due to take NASA astronauts back to the Moon won’t be going Read more

SLS saves itself with successful full-duration engine firing but its career may still be short

NASA’s much delayed and very expensive SLS heavy-lift launch vehicle (HLV) has coming under renewed criticism as SpaceX’s partly reusable Read more

NASA paints a brave face on SLS engine test failure (Updated)

NASA might have said that it wanted a minimum of 250 seconds' worth of engine firing plus gimbal movements to Read more

Despite anti-democratic attempt to storm its government, the USA gets a new President – with Senate power which is bad news for SLS

After politically traumatic events in Washington DC, the inauguration of President elect Joe Biden and his Vice President elect Kamala Read more

Bridenstine notes public-private partnerships in NASA push to develop crewed lunar landers

At the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado on 9 April, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine put some meat on the bare Read more