United States Government Space Budget
U.S. Research and Development Funding
Space Force Unveils Antisatellite Weapons Program, Reserve Branch Plans at Senate Hearing
Space Force leaders pulled back the veil of secrecy on one of the service’s most-secretive programs and made a push for congressional authorization of a new part-time branch during a May 2 hearing before the Senate.
New Congress Names Space Committee Leaders
2015 – RDT&E and IR&D funding
Independent Research and Development (IR&D) refers to a contractor’s own investment in research and development studies into promising technologies of potential interest to government or commercial customers. Companies can recover a portion of these costs as overhead on current government contracts. In 2015, IR&D spending was estimated to be $165 million.
2014 – RDT&E and IR&D funding Snapshot
In a different category of support for space infrastructure, the U.S. government provides funding for the development of materials, equipment, and software through Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) budgets appropriated for each military service (Army, Navy, and Air Force) and other defense agencies. When RDT&E programs reach specific goals, they are moved from RDT&E funding to other funds allocated for operations and maintenance. Contractors conducting RDT&E activities for the services and agencies received an average annual appropriation of $## billion (adjusted for inflation) from 2004 to 2014, with ##% of that total allocated to space-related programs. Of the $## billion in RDT&E funding disbursed in 2014, less than ##% was dedicated to space-related programs.
2012 – RDT&E and IR&D funding
Independent research and development (IR&D), another infrastructure support industry, covers research and development activities initiated and funded by defense contractors independent of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Space-related IR&D is estimated by applying the percentage of space R&D versus total DoD R&D to the total amount of all IR&D spending according to the Defense Contract Audit Agency. Space IR&D spending was estimated at $## million in 2012, a slight decrease from the $## million estimated for 2011. This decrease stems from declines in both government-funded space R&D and the overall level of IR&D as tracked by the DoD.
2007 – RDT&E and IR&D funding
Total independent research and development (IR&D) expenditures are estimated at $## million for 2006, the latest year data was available from the Defense Contract Audit Agency. IR&D expenditures are private enterprise research and development costs incurred while working on government contracts but not reimbursed by the government. These expenditures are estimated by calculating the ratio of space R&D to total R&D within the Defense Department.
2005 – RDT&E and IR&D funding
Independent Research and Development (IR&D) costs are estimated at $## billion, half of which was retroactively funded by the DoD. Assuming that the proportion of aerospace IR&D to space IR&D is the same as the proportion of aerospace research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) ($## billion) and space RDT&E ($## billion), the IR&D covered by corporations is about $## million.