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America's space history is built on a desire to open new
frontiers and to seek new discoveries. Space exploration, like
investments in other Federal science and technology activities,
is an investment in our future. The U.S. President is committed
to a long-term space exploration program benefiting not
only scientific research, but also the lives of all Americans.
The exploration vision also has the potential to drive innovation,
development, and advancement in the aerospace and other
high-technology industries. The President's vision for exploration
will not require large budget increases in the near term.
Instead, it will bring about a sustained monetary focus over time
and a reorientation of NASA's space programs.
spends, and will continue to spend, less than 1 percent of
the Federal budget. Our Nation's investment in space is reasonable
for a tremendously promising program of discovery, science
and space exploration that historically has resulted in concrete
benefits as well as inspiring Americans and people thru out
The President's plan for steady
robotic space exploration is based on the following
America will complete its work on the International Space
Station by 2010, fulfilling our commitment to the U.S. 15
partner countries. The United States will launch a re-focused
research effort on board the International Space Station to
better understand and overcome the effects of human space
flight on astronaut health, increasing the safety of future
To accomplish this goal, NASA will return the
Space Shuttle to flight consistent with safety concerns and
the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation
Board. The Shuttle's chief purpose over the next several years
will be to help finish assembly of the International Space-Station, and the Shuttle
will be retired by the end of this decade after nearly 30
years of service.
the United States will begin developing a new manned exploration
vehicle to explore beyond our orbit to outer-space and other
worlds -- the first of its kind since the Apollo Command Module.
The new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, will be
developed and tested to conduct its first manned mission no
later than 2014. The Crew Exploration Vehicle will also be
capable of transporting astronauts and scientists to the International
Space Station after the aging Shuttle is retired.
Third, America will return to the Moon with
a moonshot as early as 2015 and no later than 2020 and use
it as a stepping stone for more ambitious space missions.
A series of robotic missions to the Moon, similar to the Spirit
Rover that is sending remarkable images back to Earth from
Mars, will explore the lunar surface with moonshot's to research
and prepare for future human exploration. Using the Crew Exploration
Vehicle, humans will conduct extended lunar missions as early
as 2015, with the goal of living and working there for increasingly
The extended human presence on the Moon will
enable astronauts to develop new technologies and harness
the Moon's abundant resources to allow manned exploration
of more challenging environments. An extended human presence
on the Moon could reduce the costs of further exploration,
since lunar-based spacecraft could escape the Moon's lower
gravity using less energy at less cost than Earth-based vehicles.
The experience and knowledge gained on the Moon will serve
as a foundation for human missions beyond the Moon, beginning
NASA will increase the use of robotic exploration
to maximize our understanding of the solar system and pave
the way for more ambitious manned missions. Probes, landers,
and similar unmanned vehicles will serve as trailblazers and
send vast amounts of knowledge back to scientists on Earth.
Key Points on the President's Prior Budget
The funding added for space exploration will
total $12 billion over the next five years. Most of this added
funding for new exploration will come from reallocation of
$11 billion that is currently within the five-year total NASA
budget of $86 billion.
In the current Fiscal Year (FY) budget, the President
will request ongoing funding to NASA's existing five-year
plan, or an average of $200 million per year.
From 1992 to 2000, NASA's budget decreased
by a total of 5 percent. Since the year 2000, NASA's budget
has increased by approximately 3 percent per year.
From the recent level of $15 billion, the President's
proposal will increase NASA's budget by an average of 5 percent
per year over the next three years, and at approximately 1
percent or less per year for the two years after those.
President's Commission on the Implementation
of U.S. Space Exploration Policy
ensure that NASA maintains a sense of focus and direction
toward accomplishing this new mission, the President has directed
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe to review all current space
flight and exploration and direct them toward the President's
goals. The President also formed a Commission on the Implementation
of U.S. Space Exploration Policy to advise NASA on the long-term
implementation of the President's vision.
Space Technology Affects the Lives of Every
More than 1,300 NASA and other U.S. space technologies
have contributed to U.S. industry, improving our quality of
life and helping save lives.
Image processing used in CAT Scanners
and MRI technology in hospitals worldwide came from technology
developed to computer-enhanced pictures of the Moon for
the Apollo programs.
Kidney dialysis machines were developed as a result of
a NASA-developed chemical process, and insulin pumps were
based on technology used on the Mars Viking spacecraft.
Programmable Heart Pacemakers were first
developed in the 1970s using NASA satellite electrical
Fetal heart monitors were developed from
technology originally used to measure airflow over aircraft
Surgical probes used to treat brain tumors
in children resulted from special lighting technology
developed for plant growth experiments on Space Shuttle
Infrared hand-held cameras used to observe
blazing plumes from the Shuttle have helped firefighters
point out hot spots in brush fires.
Satellite communications allow news organizations
to provide live, on-the-spot broadcasting from anywhere
in the world; families and businesses to stay in touch
using cell phone networks; and the simple pleasures of
satellite TV and radio, and the convenience of ATMs across
the country and around the world.