For 2022, the Omnibus Spending Bill includes $24 billion for NASA
WASHINGTON — The House and Senate appropriators worked together on March 9 to create an Omnibus Spending Bill for the Fiscal Year 2022. It would provide NASA with a little over $24 billion. This is $760 million less than the administration requested.
NASA will receive $24.041 billion from the spending bill. It funds the federal government for the fiscal year that began the previous Oct. 1. NASA requested $24.8 billion in funding last spring. NASA received $23.271 Billion in the fiscal year 2021.
NASA’s space technology department saw the largest reduction. Although the administration wanted $1.425 million for space technology, the omnibus bill funds it at $1.1billion, the same amount as 2021. The omnibus bill also directs $110million of that funding for nuclear thermal propulsion, which was not in the administration’s proposal.
The final bill also saw $317 million in cuts from science programs, compared with the request.
However, overall funding of $7.614 trillion is still over $300 million more than what they received in 2021.
The bill’s accompanying report contains mixed messages about NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. (SOFIA) was an airborne observatory NASA requested to be canceled in its request. It states that “The agreement takes note of all recommendations from Astro2020” and that was a reference to the last November astrophysics decadal survey which recommended NASA end the program due to its high operating costs, “modest scientific productivity”, and “high operating costs.”
However, the report still allocated $85.2 million or the full funding “from within existing and prior year resources to maintain SOFIA operations for the fiscal year 2022.” The Senate version didn’t mention it.