The President's Budget Request for NASA for fiscal year 2025 is $25.4 billion, a 2% increase over 2024 and the same as 2023. The budget proposes flat or modest cuts to most directorates within the agency, a noted departure from previous plans, which originally called for billions of additional dollars over the coming years.

This discrepancy is a consequence of strict spending caps passed by Congress in 2023, which functionally froze U.S. discretionary spending for two years. These arbitrary caps create a zero-sum game between federal agencies, and NASA, while respected and admired among lawmakers, is rarely a top priority.

Given NASA's ambitious slate of projects, including returning humans to the Moon, building up a commercial space industry, returning samples from Mars, creating a next-generation space telescope, and flying through the skies of Titan (to name only a few), this budget presents a serious programmatic challenge. If this budget trend continues, there is simply not enough funding to pursue the full slate of projects that the nation has asked its space agency to pursue.

NASA's budget during the Biden Administration. The vertical axis displays both NASA's total congressional appropriation in billions of dollars and the amount requested by the President. The horizontal axis is fiscal year. NASA's full budget history dataset is available to view or to download as an Excel spreadsheet.

Furthermore, these cuts are coming at a time of significant inflation in the aerospace sector. Using NASA's own inflation data, the agency has already lost $1.7 billion in buying power between 2020 and 2024, with over a billion of that loss hitting its Science Mission Directorate. Advancing the top priority decadal flagship missions will be nearly impossible in this budget environment. Indeed, the Planetary Science Division's Mars Sample Return project is not funded in this budget, the Heliophysics' Geospace Dynamics Constellation is cancelled, and Astrophysics' Habitable Worlds Observatory gets a modest $50 million in technology development funds.

Congress, facing a general election in the Fall of 2024, is unlikely to act on this budget anytime soon, though we could see some initial proposals by the Summer.

NASA topline amounts, with FY 2025 PBR projections through 2029, all normalized to 2025 dollars. Inflation calculations are from NASA's New Start Index using historical adjustments through 2024 and then an estimated average of 2.6% annual inflation starting in 2025.

The President's FY 2025 Budget Request for NASA

  2024 Enacted 2025 PBR % Change
NASA $24,875 $25,384 +2%
Science $7,334 $7,566 +1%
↳ Planetary Science $2,717 $2,732 +1%
↳ Mars Sample Return $300M to $949M TBD -
↳ Earth Science $2,195 $2,379 +12%
↳ Astrophysics $1,530 $1,578 +3%
↳ Heliophysics $805 $787 -2%
↳ Biological & Physical Science $88 $91 +4%
Deep Space Exploration $7,666 $7,618 -1%
↳ Orion Crew Vehicle $1,339 $1,031 -7%
↳ SLS $2,600 $2,423 -7%
↳ Human Landing System $1,881 $1,896 +1%
Space Technology $1,100 $1,182 +7%
Space Operations $4,220 $4,390 +4%
↳ Commercial LEO Development $228 $170 -26%
Aeronautics $935 $966 +3%
STEM Engagement $143 $143.5 0%
Safety, Security, & Mission Services $3,129 $3,044 -3%
Construction and Environmental Compliance $300 $424 +41%
NASA Inspector General $47.6 $50.5 +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. Only selected divisions and projects are included. For further detail see the FY 2025 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:

  • NASA's Planetary Science Division remains at $2.7 billion — a $500 million cut from 2023
    Congress cut the division's budget to $2.7 billion in FY2024 in response to MSR's troubles. The Biden Administration would extend that cut into 2025.
  • Mars Sample Return received an unprecedented "TBD" instead of a budget
    Pending NASA's decision on a reformulated project, MSR's budget is TBD. There appears to be $200M reserved within the planetary science budget, but that will be far less than needed to fully restart the project. NASA officials have stated that any amounts above that for MSR in 2025 would have to come from other planetary science projects.
  • The VERITAS mission to Venus is restored with a 2031 launch date
    VERITAS had been indefinitely delayed in 2023. It is now replanned to launch in 2031.
  • DAVINCI is delayed to the same 2031 launch window
  • The Geospace Dynamics Constellation is cancelled
    This high-priority Heliophysics flagship mission was already delayed and is now formally cancelled. However, this mission has support within Congress, which may take action to restore it.
  • Artemis funding remains flat, but shifts money from Orion and SLS into space suits and other new development projects
    At 7.6 billion, the request is similar to FY2024's congressional appropriation. Savings accused from moving Orion and SLS into production are used to supplement new activities, like space suits and the Human Landing System projects.

Additional Resources and Analysis

Analysis: the FY 2025 budget request is not enough

A detailed analysis and interpretation of the FY 2025 PBR for NASA

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.