Government Space Budgets
The largest international civilian space budget is that of ESA. The agency’s 2007 budget was approximately $## billion. This budget is funded by mandatory as well as voluntary contributions by ESA member states, cooperating states and third parties.
The most recent available estimate of annual DoD space spending continues to be the $## billion estimate released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in 2006. Intelligence agencies and MDA are organizationally tied to the DoD; however, their budgets are not included in the DoD space spending estimate. The CRS estimate uses the virtual major force program (vMFP), a budgetary mechanism for grouping space expenditures, as the source for U.S. DoD space budget expenditures.
NASA was allocated $## billion for FY 2007. This is slightly less than the 2006 operating budget of $## billion. For FY 2008, NASA received $## billion. An agency summary from NASA’s proposed FY 2008 budget is shown in Exhibit 1r. This exhibit highlights the breakdown of NASA funding, and shows increases of ##% to ##% per year through 2012.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA, the two largest space agencies in the world, dominate the U.S. space budget, receiving ##% of U.S. space funding. Combined U.S. defense-related space activities total $## billion, or ##% of the U.S. government space spending. This figure includes DoD space, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Military agencies and NASA combine to total ##% of U.S. government space spending.
Government space budgets support infrastructure and space products and services. Government spending accounted for ##% of global space activity in 2007, and the United States accounted for ##% of global government space spending, based on available information. Overall, U.S. government space spending rose ##%. International government budgets rose almost ##% in U.S. dollars, though the actual growth is closer to #% when adjusted for currency fluctuations. Large increases in Russian space spending (##%) and in the budget for Italy’s Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (##%) drove this growth
Independent Research and Development (IR&D) costs are estimated at $## billion, half of which was retroactively funded by the DoD. Assuming that the proportion of aerospace IR&D to space IR&D is the same as the proportion of aerospace research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) ($## billion) and space RDT&E ($## billion), the IR&D covered by corporations is about $## million.
Non-U.S. military estimates, which are for 2004, include the following countries: United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Israel. China’s budget includes both military and civil expenditures. Note that the estimate of China’s space budget is controversial. At a NASA budget hearing in April 2006, much of the discussion was about the possible size of China’s space program and its ability to complete its plans to land astronauts on the Moon in 2017.
Determining the DoD’s space budget is more complex. This report includes budget figures drawn from the DoD’s virtual space major force program (vMFP). In DoD usage, a major force program is a “budgeting mechanism that aggregates related budget items into a single program to track program resources independent of the appropriation process and contains the resources needed to achieve an objective or plan.” There is no major force program for space funding, and, as a result, one of the recommendations of the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization (Space Commission) in 2001 was to create such a space major force program. Rather than create an entirely new, separate major force program just for space, DoD elected to create a “virtual” major force program that would draw space-related budgetary data from the pre-existing major force programs.
NASA’s FY 2006 budget is approximately $## billion. The NASA FY 2006 Budget Request forecasts relatively small (## percent to ## percent) annual increases in the total NASA budget, bringing the total budget to $## billion by FY 2010.