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NASA Earth & Space Science Funding Realities

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This chart shows the history of NASA funding for Earth and Space science over time, and rebuts Republican assertions that Earth science has been done at the expense of space science. More from Andy Revkin at ProPublica: http://j.mp/whynasaearth

Here's the description from Randall Friedl of NASA (JPL), who created these graphs:
https://jifresse.ucla.edu/people/

The analysis is based, almost entirely on budget submission documents that are contained on the NASA website. Unfortunately, NASA seems to have very recently (this week??) deleted some of the earliest files, but I was able to find the needed documents elsewhere on the internet.

In order to create an apples-to-apples comparison, I had to consistently relate numbers across two important NASA changes, namely the move to “full” cost accounting in the 2002 timeframe and the move to “direct” cost accounting in 2009. Fortunately, NASA provided specific conversion information in their 2002 and 2009 budget requests that allowed me to confidently correct the numbers. For comparison purposes, I have converted all of the NASA budget numbers into “full” cost numbers. This means that only the budget information given in NASA’s 2003-2008 submissions will look exactly like the numbers in my charts.

One other issue was the short-lived merger of Earth science into the Sun-Earth program (~2003-2005). For those cases, I was able to look deeper into the budget submissions and separate Earth from Heliophysics funding.

For all of the budget numbers (except 2016), I used only “enacted” or “Ops Plan” information rather than Administration requests. The Enacted/Op Plan data for previous years can typically found in each current year budget submission (e.g. 2015 ops plan is contained in the 2017 request).

Analysis of the data strongly refutes any claims that recent changes in the NASA Earth science budget are either extraordinary or are coming at the expense of Space science.

Published in: News & Politics
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NASA Earth & Space Science Funding Realities

  1. 1. December 10, 2016 1 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 NASA Science Funding ($Billion CY, Full Cost) Space Science Earth Science $B Note: Space Science = Planetary+Astrophysics+Heliophysics
  2. 2. December 10, 2016 2 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 6.00 NASA Science Funding ($Billion RY, Full Cost) Space Science Earth Science $B Note: Space Science = Planetary+Astrophysics+Heliophysics
  3. 3. December 10, 2016 3 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 25.00 30.00 NASA Science / NASA Total (%) % Space Science Earth Science

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