NASA which stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a federal agency which receives its funding from the federal budget. Usually, the federal budget is passed by United States Congress. NASA has been in existence since 1958. In this article, we are going to look at the annual spending of this agency.
It is important to note that NASA’s budget has been growing over the years. In 1998, the annual spending was $13.6 billion. In 2016, the agency was allocated $19.3 billion. For the year 2013 when the country was undergoing sequestration, the budget was reduced slightly to $16.9 billion. During that year, president Obama had requested that the agency be allocated $17.7 billion but the US congress allocated them $16.9 billion.
Also in 2008 which happens to be the year of financial crisis, NASA had to cut some of its programs when its budget was cut to $17.1 billion. During that year, President Bush had requested that the agency be allocated $17.3 billion.The money allocated to NASA is spent on education, spaceflight division as well as other engineering projects. It is important to note that NASA takes the smallest portion when compared to other Federal agencies which includes; Homeland security, Education, Veterans Administration, Health and Human Services as well as Housing and Urban Development. Of all these agencies, NASA only takes 0.4% of the total Federal budget.
Although NASA’s budget has been growing over the years, it has been reducing gradually in relation to the federal agencies. For example, in 1966, NASA spent 4.61% of the total US federal budget. Today, the allocation has come down to around 0.4% of the total federal budget allocation.
Its worth noting that NASA does not only spend money but it also brings more to the economy. It is estimated that for $1 dollar that is spent on this agency, it brings back around $10 to the economy. In a report from Space Foundation, it was estimated that space related activities had earned the government $180 in 2005. Most of this money was attributed to commercial services which were produced by the many companies which interact with space technology.
This space economy is comprised of goods and services used in the space, commercial infrastructures as well as the support industries. NASA is uniquely positioned to provide technological innovations which consequently propels the space economy.
Some of the technological innovations that have come form NASA includes; communication and weather satellites, Heart defibrillators, GPS and many more. It is for this reason that we cannot take NASA for granted.