National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Overview, FY2009 Budget, and Issues for Congress Page: 1 of 6
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Order Code RS22818
Updated June 19, 2008
CRS Report for Congress
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration: Overview, FY2009 Budget,
and Issues for Congress
Daniel Morgan and Carl E. Behrens
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducts U.S.
civilian space and aeronautics activities. For FY2009, the Administration has requested
$17.614 billion for NASA, an increase of 1.8% from the FY2008 appropriation of
$17.309 billion. The NASA Authorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 6063) would authorize
$20.210 billion for FY2009. The President's 2004 Moon/Mars Vision for Space
Exploration is the major focus of NASA's activities. Issues for Congress regarding this
goal include the development of new vehicles for human spaceflight, plans for the
transition to these vehicles after the space shuttle is retired in 2010, and the balance in
NASA's priorities between human space exploration and the agency's other activities
in science and aeronautics. H.R. 6063 includes a "Sense of the Congress" provision
urging cooperation with other nations in the Moon/Mars activities.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created by the
1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act (P.L. 85-568) to conduct civilian space and
aeronautics activities. NASA opened its doors on October 1, 1958, almost exactly a year
after the Soviet Union launched the world's first satellite, Sputnik.' In the five decades
since, NASA has conducted programs in human and robotic spaceflight, technology
development, and scientific research. The first day of FY2009 will be NASA's 50th
NASA is headquartered in Washington, DC. It has nine major field centers: Ames
Research Center, Moffett Field, CA; Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA;
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH; Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt,
MD; Johnson Space Center, near Houston, TX; Kennedy Space Center, near Cape
See CRS Report RL34263, U.S. Civilian Space Policy Priorities: Reflections 50 Years After
Sputnik, by Deborah D. Stine.
Congressional Research Service The Library of Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
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Morgan, Daniel & Behrens, Carl E. National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Overview, FY2009 Budget, and Issues for Congress, report, June 19, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847513/m1/1/?q=%22space%20activities%22: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.