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Revitalizing Nasa’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce F NASA Sounding Rocket Budget History The complicated and sometimes uncertain (e.g., item 7 below) funding history for the NASA sounding rocket program is indicated below and in Figure F.1 for fiscal years 1987-2009. Until full cost accounting (FCA; pre-2004), all NOA went toward procurements, and CS Labor and NASA overhead were not part of the program budget. As such, the NOA and Procurement Funding lines are virtually identical. The fiscal year (FY) 2004 NOA included all FCA elements (CS Labor, Procurements, Facilities, Pools, CS Travel, CM&O, and so on); hence the out-of-character peak. In FY 2005, NASA altered how it handled FCA, and NOA began to cover only CS Labor, CS Travel, and Procurements. Other overhead costs were covered at the NASA level. As the program transitioned to NSROC in FY 1999, 34 CS FTEs were replaced by 34 contractor WYEs, but no additional long-term funding was provided for the additional labor cost. The peak in FY 1999 reflects the payback of $5.3 million “borrowed” by the Hubble program. The loans occurred in FY 1997 and FY 1998. In FY 1999 and beyond as the result of inadequate funding, the program had to reduce the flight rate and begin an era of inventory consumption in order to keep operating as long as possible. The program was poised to “go out of business” after FY 2008, as inventory levels became depleted. The program was rescued in 2008 when the SMD AA authorized a budget profile that would return the program to a healthy state. To restore the program to “full capability” (i.e., 28 flights/yr and Campaigns), the Procurement Funding line (red) must reach the Approximate Inflation line. These funding levels do not address the research and analysis budget that funds the scientific grants.
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Revitalizing Nasa’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce FIGURE F.1 Funding history for the NASA sounding rocket program.
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