April 3, 2008 Vol 1, Issue 3
NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin told a House subcommittee that the President’s FY 2009 budget request for NASA represents a substantial step forward in responding to the recommendations of the National Research Councils first decadal survey of Earth Science.
Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies on March 5, 2008, the Administrator noted that funding will support the development of two Decadal Survey new mission priorities — the Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission, and the Ice, Clouds, land Elevation Satellite II (ICESat II) mission — as well as formulation of three additional decadal survey missions.
As he underlined NASA’s commitment to fulfilling its exploration priorities, Dr. Griffin emphasized that the agency is in a period of profound change. “NASA is continuing to transition from the Space Shuttle to new Exploration systems, and will need a complement of critical tools and authorities necessary for the transformed Agency to execute its mission,” he said. “This transition is the largest and most daunting since the end of the Apollo program and the beginning of the Space Shuttle program.”
He observed that the agency’s $17.6 billion budget request reflected a “balanced set of priorities” for the agency. “NASA’s budget is sufficient to support a variety of excellent space programs, but it cannot support all of the potential programs we could execute,” Dr. Griffin said. “No plan or level of funding can fully satisfy all the many constituencies we have.”