Government Space Budgets
United States Government Space Budget
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA, the two largest space agencies in the world, dominate the U.S. space budget, receiving ##% of U.S. space funding. Combined U.S. defense-related space activities total $## billion, or ##% of the U.S. government space spending. This figure includes DoD space, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Military agencies and NASA combine to total ##% of U.S. government space spending.
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.
Determining the DoD’s space budget is more complex. This report includes budget figures drawn from the DoD’s virtual space major force program (vMFP). In DoD usage, a major force program is a “budgeting mechanism that aggregates related budget items into a single program to track program resources independent of the appropriation process and contains the resources needed to achieve an objective or plan.” There is no major force program for space funding, and, as a result, one of the recommendations of the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization (Space Commission) in 2001 was to create such a space major force program. Rather than create an entirely new, separate major force program just for space, DoD elected to create a “virtual” major force program that would draw space-related budgetary data from the pre-existing major force programs.
NASA’s FY 2006 budget is approximately $## billion. The NASA FY 2006 Budget Request forecasts relatively small (## percent to ## percent) annual increases in the total NASA budget, bringing the total budget to $## billion by FY 2010.