The Biden Administration proposed $27.2 billion for NASA's 2024 fiscal year. If approved by Congress, this would represent a 7.1% increase over 2023 levels. The budget would grow funding for NASA's Artemis lunar exploration program, Mars Sample Return, Earth Science, and technology research and development.

A divided Congress, however, instituted spending caps for 2024 and 2025, and essentially freezing NASA's budget at 2023 levels. Within this restricted budget environment, the Artemis program emerged as the clear congressional priority. Senate and House proposals provide funding increases in line with the President's request. That comes at a price paid mainly by the Science directorate, with the Senate targeting Mars Sample Return for severe cuts and threatening to cancel the top planetary science priority.

The President's Budget Request

  2023 Enacted 2024 PBR % Change
NASA $25,384 $27,185 +7.1%
Science $7,795 $8,261 +%6
↳ Planetary Science $3,200 $3,383 +%5.7
↳ Earth Science $2,195 $2,473 +12.7%
↳ Astrophysics $1,510 $1,557 +3%
↳ Heliophysics $805 $751 -6.7%
↳ Biological & Physical Science $85 $97 +%13.5
Exploration $7,469 $7,971 +6.7%
↳ Orion Crew Vehicle $1,339 $1,225 -8.5%
↳ SLS $2,600 $2,506 -3.6%
↳ Human Landing System $1,486 $1,881 +27%
Space Technology $1,200 $1,392 +16%
Space Operations $4,250 $4,535 +6.7%
↳ Commercial LEO Development $224 $228 +1.8%
Aeronautics $935 $996 +6.5%
STEM Engagement $143.5 $157.8 +10%
Safety, Security, & Mission Services $3,130 $3,369 +7.7%
Construction and Environmental Compliance $414.3 $454 +9.5%
NASA Inspector General $47.6 $50.2 +5.5%

All values are in millions of dollars. Directorate/top-level line-items are in boldface, divisions and major projects are in standard formatting; sub-programs are in italics. All major directorates are listed. Only selected divisions and projects are included. For further detail see the FY 2024 NASA Budget Request.

Explore this data. View historical NASA budget data, including breakdowns by fiscal year, and comparisons to total U.S. spending and GDP, on this Google Spreadsheet.

Highlights include:

  • Increase Mars Sample Return funding to $949M in 2024, with the following warning "costs are expected to increase beyond what is shown in the outyear profile in this budget. To address this budget challenge, NASA will have to either reduce funding for other activities within the Science Program or descope elements of the Mars Sample Return mission."
  • An indefinite delay of the VERITAS Venus mission "due to Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) workforce issues raised in the Psyche Independent Review Board findings. NASA will continue to support the VERITAS science team."
  • Proposes $210 million for NEO Surveyor "to support a June 2028 launch readiness date."
  • $30 million to increase contributions to the European Space Agency's Rosalind Franklin rover "previously a joint Europe/Russia mission, which will search Mars for indications of ancient life"
  • Increase funding for Artemis' Human Landing System program by 27% to support "additional work with SpaceX to upgrade the version of Starship used for the Artemis III mission [and] invite other U.S. companies to provide new lander development and demonstration missions from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon with an initial demonstration on Artemis V."

Note: all quotes are from NASA's FY 2024 president's budget request and related documents.

Congressional Activity

The Senate moved its funding legislation for NASA out of committee on July 13th, 2023, by a vote of 28 - 1. It provided $25 billion to the space agency, a cut of more than $300 million from the prior year and over $2 billion less than requested. Mars Sample Return was targeted by the Senate for cost overruns, and provided only $300 million — $649 million less than requested — and directed NASA to restrain the total budget to $5.3 billion or face cancellation.

The House released its NASA budget the same week, but didn't publish its explanatory text that detailed spending directives until November. The House provides $25.3 billion for NASA, and meets the full FY 2024 requested amount for human exploration and Artemis. It provides a similar amount of funding for NASA's Science Mission Directorate as the Senate, representing a cut of nearly half a billion relative to 2023. Every science division would be cut under this proposal. However, the budget fully funds the request for Mars Sample Return and NEO Surveyor. Combined, this accounts for approximately $200 million additional expenditures over the prior year, despite the overall budget for the Planetary Science Division decreasing by $100 million. The House rejected funding for U.S. support of ESA's ExoMars mission, but otherwise did not specify how the limited funding would impact other programs.

Both House and Senate provide modest increases in funding for NASA's Deep Space Exploration account, which is responsible for the Artemis lunar return program. The House meets the President's requested amount; the Senate comes close to that amount. The SLS and Orion programs continue to receive unwavering support from Congress, exactly matching their requested amounts in both chambers. These actions in both congressional chambers, under differing party control, demonstrate that Artemis is the nation's top political priority in civil space exploration.

  2023 Enacted 2024 PBR House CJS Senate CJS Final
NASA $25,384 $27,185 $25,366 $25,000 -
Science $7,795 $8,261 7,380 $7,341
Planetary Science $3,200 $3,383 3,100 $2,683 -
↳ Mars Sample Return $822.3 $949 $949 $300 -
↳ NEO Surveyor $90 $209.7 $209.7 $209.7 -
↳ VERITAS $57.2 $1.5 $1.5 $1.5 -
Earth Science $2,195 $2,473 $2,000 $2,219 -
Astrophysics $1,510 $1,557 $1,485 $1,544 -
↳ Roman Space Telescope $482.2 $407.3 not specified $407.3 -
Heliophysics $805 $751 $710 $805 -
Biological & Physical Science $85 $96.5 $85 $90 -
Deep Space Exploration $7,469 $7,971 $7,971 $7,736 -
Orion Crew Vehicle $1,339 $1,225 $1,225 $1,225 -
SLS $2,600 $2,506 $2,506 $2,506 -
Exploration Ground Systems $799.2 $794.2 $794.2 $794.2 -
Artemis Campaign Development $2,600 $3,235 $3,235 ~$3,000 -
Space Technology $1,200 $1,392 $1,205 $1,118 -
Space Operations $4,250 $4,535 $4,345 $4,200 -
Aeronautics $935 $996 $946 $935 -
STEM Engagement $143.5 $157.8 $89 $143.5 -
Safety, Security, & Mission Services $3,130 $3,369 $3,136 $3,100 -
Construction and Environmental Compliance $414.3 $453.7 $247.9 $379 -
NASA Inspector General $47.6 $50.2 $47.6 $47.6 -

All values are in millions of dollars. Directorate/top-level line-items are in boldface, divisions and major projects are in standard formatting; sub-programs are in italics. All major directorates are listed but not all sub-divisions or projects are included here. *Includes $367M drawn from an emergency appropriations account.

Additional Resources and Analysis

The U.S. Senate threatens to cancel Mars Sample Return

The House has yet to weigh in. And much can still happen before this threat is realized.

What’s going on with Mars Sample Return?

NASA's biggest science project is undergoing an unprecedented second independent review amidst growing cost estimates and daunting technical and managerial challenges.

Analysis: NASA's 2024 budget is a solid foundation facing political headwinds

The requested $27.2 billion would keep all major human and robotic initiatives going forward, though most of it would be offset by inflation.

The Planetary Society's official statement on the FY 2024 NASA budget request

The Planetary Society released a statement welcoming the Biden Administration’s proposal to increase NASA’s budget by 7% in 2024, which supports the Artemis return to the Moon, Mars Sample Return, and a 2028 launch date of the Near-Earth Object Surveyor planetary defense mission.

Your Guide to NASA's Budget

How big is NASA's budget right now? What was it like in the past? How does it compare to the rest of government spending? These answers, as well as charts, raw data, and original sourcing, are contained within.