In 2012, the agency will have at its disposal 17.8 billion dollars. This is 648 million less than last year and 924 million less than the amount they requested. Still, it’s better than the $ 16.8 billion proposed earlier this year by the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress.
At first glance, the $ 17.8 billion - a huge sum of money. This is certainly true, but NASA needs to develop a set of directions and to fund new missions and programs. So what exactly will this money be spent?
In the budget, there are three main areas of spending. 3.8 billion will be spent on space exploration, which includes the development work to create a multi-operated vehicle and Orion rocket called the Space Launch System.
$ 4.2 billion allocated for space missions. The figure of 1 billion less than last year.
At NASA’s scientific program will go $ 5.1 billion, including the development of the Hubble Space Telescope’s James Webb (JWST). The situation with the JWST this year attracted the attention of the general public due to the backlog of schedule and exceeding the limit of the allocated budget. In total this year will go to the JWST 530 million dollars.
Highlighted in this year’s scientific program funds by $ 150 million more than last year. This funding JWST has increased by $ 380 million. Where did the extra money? They were taken from other programs. As stated in the decision of the President of the United States, "the agreement takes into account the growth of spending on behalf of the Space Telescope James Webb by a corresponding reduction in funding for other programs." At NASA no choice but to cut spending on other programs to finance the development of the Space Telescope.
This means a significant reduction in the cost of the space program, as the flights operated by the lion’s share of spending by NASA.
These reductions can seriously damage long-term plans of NASA, such as the planned mission to Mars in 2020. The planned mission to Europe to face the same difficulties that particularly regrettable in view of the recent discovery of liquid water beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon.
Unfortunately, NASA’s budget does not meet the objectives facing the agency. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in regard to the new budget, "we are required to live within the means to invest in the future."