Shortfalls in the Mission Budget
Congress has provided even more money for the Space Launch System and Orion than Obama has asked for each year. But it has yet to match his requests for money for a program begun in 2011 to stimulate the commercial space industry and a crew shuttle for the International Space Station.
The program has received only 38 percent of the money NASA requested for its first three years, which pushed back the target date for the first commercial crew flight from 2015 to 2017. Congress has been closing that gap over the past two years, but not completely. Obama asked for $848 million in fiscal 2015; the House voted for $785 million in May and a pending Senate bill would provide $805 million.
A report by NASA’s inspector ...