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President offers $14.5 billion NASA budget for FY 2002
Posted: Wed, Feb 28, 2001, 12:57 PM ET (1757 GMT)
NASA President Bush's fiscal year 2002 budget proposal released Wednesday morning calls for $14.5 billion for NASA, a small increase over the current 2001 budget. The proposal would increase NASA's budget by $200 million from 2001, a 2% increase that is only about half the average budget increase for all federal agencies and less than the rate of inflation, in effect trimming the budget slightly. The budget proposal includes increased funding for the International Space Station, but also mentions that management reforms and other changes will be necessary to bring the station's spiraling cost overruns under control. The budget also provides for a "more robust" Mars exploration program, but cuts funds for the Pluto-Kuiper Express and Solar Probe missions, adding money for technology development to support a potential future Pluto mission before 2020. Unspecified low priority aeronautics programs and remote-sensing Earth science spacecraft would also be cut under the proposal. The budget also put an emphasis on commercialization and privatization within the space agency, increasing the budget for the Space Launch Initiative by 64% and suggesting the formation of a non-governmental organization to oversee space station research.
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