NASA is internally divided into major program areas, each of which receives funding to manage their own projects. Funding varies year-to-year, but generally about 50% of NASA's annual budget is spent on human spaceflight activities, 30% on robotic missions and scientific research, and the remainder split between aeronautics, technology development programs, staff salaries, facilities management, and other overhead. NASA requested $25.2 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2021 President's Budget proposal, a 11.9 percent or $2.7 billion increase from FY 2020. As can be seen in the following table, this increase is concentrated in exploration activities, with both the Deep Space Exploration Systems account and the Space Technology Mission Directorate receiving increases of a little over 40 percent in the request. The Budget increases funding for innovative programs that would land astronauts on the Moon and support precursor missions and advanced technologies that would enable further exploration. The Budget also supports a broad range of NASA programs that are not directly supporting the Moon to Mars program, and includes reductions to some lower-performing programs.
The following table presents a summary of NASA’s FY 2021 Presidential Budget Request.
|2020 Enacted||FY 2021 Presidential Budget Proposed|
|NASA Total (in $ millions)||$22,629||$25,246|
|James Webb Space Telescope||$423||$414.7|
|Orion Crew Vehicle||$1,407||$1,400|
|Safety, Security, & Mission Services||$2,913||$3,010|
|Construction and Environmental Compliance||$373||$539|
|NASA Inspector General||$41.7||$44.2|
* Note that since FY 2019, NASA’s budget requests have proposed new names for some NASA’s programs. In the enacted FY 2019 appropriation, Education became Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement. The Administration has also proposed renaming Space Technology as Exploration Technology; Exploration as Deep Space Exploration Systems; and Space Operations as Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Spaceflight Operations.
President's Budget Request Source Documents:
To learn more about NASA’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget, visit: NASA Budget webpage.
Updated October 2020, Kevine Lidoro