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The Sorry State of Planetary Science Funding In One Chart

Posted By Casey Dreier

09-12-2013 14:18 CST

Topics: FY2014 NASA Budget, Explaining Policy, history, Space Policy

We've talked a lot at The Planetary Society about our strong desire to fund NASA's Planetary Science Division at $1.5 billion per year. This number doesn't come out of nowhere. It's the historical average for the program that has produced the current golden age we find ourselves living in today.

Over the summer our policy intern Lori Dajose and myself explored the recent history of planetary science funding at NASA. We went through ten years of public budgets, picked out the funding for planetary exploration, and corrected it for inflation and made it programmatically consistent. Michael Wong of Caltech helped us visualize the results you see below, which speak for themselves.

Amounts are in millions, and are plotted against the number of missions in development in the President's annual budget request.

NASA's Planetary Science Division Funding and Number of Missions 2003 - 2019

Lori Dajose/Michael Wong/Casey Dreier for the Planetary Society

NASA's Planetary Science Division Funding and Number of Missions 2003 - 2019
Funding for planetary exploration at NASA mapped against the number of missions in development, adjusted for inflation. Updated with NASA's FY2015 Budget Request by the White House.

A few things to note about this chart:

If you don't like the trend displayed above, do something about it. Write the President and your elected officials and tell them to fund planetary science at NASA.

 
See other posts from December 2013

 

Read more blog entries about: FY2014 NASA Budget, Explaining Policy, history, Space Policy

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