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Ask OCE — January 12, 2006 — Vol. 1, Issue 2


The House of Representatives passed a spending bill to reauthorize NASA on December 17, 2005, authorizing approximately $17.9 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2007 and $18.7 billion in fiscal year 2008.

The bill directs the Agency to carry out programs in human space flight, aeronautics, space science, earth science and microgravity research, and it endorses President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration. It also:

  • Changes the Agency’s budget structure to separate funding for human space flight and science, aeronautics and education activities.
  • Requires that at least 15 percent of the spending for the International Space Station (ISS) be used for microgravity research not related to exploration programs.
  • Enables NASA to carry out a prize program.
  • Puts in new reporting requirements and cost controls that would require Congressional action if cost overruns on a project exceed set levels.
  • Requires multi-year plans for aeronautics, science, facilities and workforce, and prevents layoffs (Reductions in Force) before March 16, 2007.
  • Endorses a Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope if it can be accomplished safely.
  • Designates the U.S. portion of the ISS as a “national laboratory.”
  • Provides guidance for the transition from the Space Shuttle to the Crew Exploration Vehicle.
  • Requires the National Academy of Sciences to review NASA’s K-12 education programs.
  • Establishes procedures for the appointment of a Presidential Commission in the event of the loss of a Shuttle or other manned vehicle.

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