Congress prepares to allocate further funds to NASA’s Space Launch System

Congress plans to allocate billions more dollars towards the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Artemis program, while NASA’s science missions may face cuts in funding. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees recommend setting aside approximately $25 billion for NASA in the next fiscal year. However, they also propose increasing the funding allocated to the Artemis program, specifically SLS and the Orion crew capsule. The House bill suggests $7.9 billion, while the Senate bill proposes $7.74 billion for these programs, representing a $440 million increase from FY 2023. On the other hand, science missions may face cuts of roughly the same amount, with the House recommending a budget of $7.38 billion compared to $7.79 billion in FY 2023.

This funding increase signifies Congress’s commitment to the Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon by 2025. The success of this mission relies on the development of SLS and Orion, which are currently under scrutiny due to their high costs. The price tags of these programs have accumulated over time, with SLS costs exceeding $24 billion since its conception in 2010. Despite achieving a successful maiden flight in November, the non-reusability of the SLS rocket necessitates further substantial investments for subsequent missions. Additional costs also arise from the Orion spacecraft and the mobile launch tower.

In May, NASA’s Office of Inspector General issued a critical audit of the SLS program. It revealed that delays in the SLS booster and engine contracts have resulted in a cost overrun of approximately $6 billion. The report also raised concerns about the use of cost-plus contracts, which place most of the risk on the government.

In FY 2023, NASA received a total of $25.4 billion, of which $2.6 billion was earmarked for SLS, $1.34 billion for Orion, and $1.48 billion for the Human Landing System contract programs. Science programs, including the Mars Sample Return mission and Earth science missions, received an overall funding of $7.8 billion.

Leave a Replay

About VujaDE

Venture Capital fund focused on resolving global problems through innovative technologies, we invest in AGTech, DeepTech, LegalTech and HealthTech.

Recent Posts

Get in to the inner circle

Join our online realtime community at Discord

Meet Founders, Limited Partners, and the VujaDE Team. Get access to great industry knowhow from experts and more…