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NASA's Planetary Science Division Funding and Number of Missions 2004 - 2020

NASA's Planetary Science Division Funding and Number of Missions 2004 - 2020

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

NASA's Planetary Science Division Funding and Number of Missions 2004 - 2020
Funding for planetary exploration at NASA mapped against the number of missions in development, adjusted for inflation and for programmatic consistency. Current as of the FY2016 President's Budget Request.

The above plot displays the overall budget of NASA's Planetary Science Division, which builds and maintains all solar system spacecraft. The large drop in funding in 2013 was due to the White House requesting major cuts to the program combined with the sequester.

Before the cuts (2003 - 2012):

After the cuts (2013 - 2019):

This means that NASA's Planetary Science Division suffers an average cut of $250 million, and its launch rate is cut in half. That means fewer missions of exploration and less science.

The Planetary Society advocates for a return to the historical level of funding for this program: $1.5 billion per year.

To learn more about what you can do to help reverse these cuts, visit our Be a Space Advocate section and contact your elected officials.

Data Details

Total amounts are adjusted for inflation and set to constant 2014 dollars according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI calculator. The years 2003 - 2013 are the actual amounts spent by NASA. The years 2014 and 2015 reflect the amount allocated to NASA for Planetary Science by Congress.

Total amounts are adjusted to retain programmatic consistency, in order to make a better "apples-to-apples" comparison:

Future missions in development are (from the FY2015 Budget request):

Raw data for this chart are located on this public Google Spreadsheet.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder

Original image data dated on or about February 9, 2015

Explore related images: FY2014 NASA Budget, Space Policy

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