The Bush Administration's budget request for Fiscal Year 2006, announced on 7 February represents a mixed bag for federal science agencies. While NASA and the National Science Foundation would receive increases, funding for some other agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, would decrease. This article looks at the budgets for NASA and the Department of Energy; other agencies will be examined in forthcoming issues.
NASA's FY 2006 budget request of $16.5 billion is a 2.4% overall. Guided in part by the 2004 presidential directive for expanding space exploration, the administration plans to streamline NASA's structure to 12 themes condensed into four directorates in 2006. With that shift, space science and Earth science will be combined into a broader science category, and biological and physical research and exploration systems will merge to become exploration systems. Aeronautics and education are the other two directorates, while a space operations category continues as a separate entity