Mars Exploration Program (MEP) Budget, 2000 - 2022 Mars Exploration Program (MEP) Budget, 2000 - 2022 Left axis: the MEP budget, adjusted for inflation, since the start of the program. Right axis: the MEP as a percentage of NASA’s total budget. Values from 2000 to 2016 are “actual” amounts spent, 2017 is the “enacted” amount, and values after 2017 are projections from the President’s FY 2018 budget request. Note the two large cuts in FYs 2009 and 2013. These occurred after a cost overrun on the MSL mission in 2009 and as a consequence of the sequestration legislation in Congress and a decline of planetary science as a priority for NASA more generally.