NASA's budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2009 keeps the agency on schedule to replace the space shuttle program, fulfills international obligations to maintain the International Space Station, and includes several new Earth and planetary science missions, officials announced on 4 February.
The agency's total budget request is US$17.6 billion, 1.8% higher than the FY 2008 enacted amount. The Constellation project, NASA's new fleet of spacecraft designed for human spaceflight, will receive much of this proposed boost, increasing by 23% (about $576 million) from the FY 2008 enacted amount to roughly $3.05 billion. In contrast, programs involving education, aeronautics, and astrophysics would each be cut by more than 10% compared with what Congress enacted for FY 2008. However, some of the proposed decreases were due to cuts in overhead or run-outs of congressional grants. In addition, at least four science missions' total costs are over budget by at least 15%, according to the FY 2009 funding proposal.