Like some members of Congress, a handful of organizations have spoken out about the NASA budget request, although their reactions are more varied. Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO Marion Blakey said she was “disappointed” by the NASA budget because it fell short of previous projections for NASA spending, such as the nearly $19.5 billion projected for 2012 in the FY11 request. “[T]he administration’s request for NASA fails to recognize the return on investment – both now and in the future – that our nation’s space program provides as we strive to innovate, educate and build an America of which we can be proud,” she states, without going into specific detail about specific programs.
“Where’s the innovation?” asks Bill Nye, executive director of The Planetary Society. He is critical of flat or reduced spending for science while “Congress insists on building a new heavy lift rocket based on old designs”. NASA administrator Charles Bolden, he added, “talked about ‘hard choices,’ but what can he do when NASA has not been given a real budget for this fiscal year,” a reference to the lack of a final FY11 appropriations bill.
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), though, appeared satisfied with the $850 million in the 2012 budget request for commercial crew development. “In this constrained fiscal environment, commercial spaceflight is more important than ever,” said CSF president Brett Alexander in the organization’s statement. “Leveraging private investment is the only way NASA can make its dollars go farther in these times of belt-tightening.”