SP-4012 NASA HISTORICAL DATA BOOK: VOLUME IV

NASA RESOURCES 1969-1978

 

CHAPTER FOUR

NASA FINANCES

black and white drawing illustrating a rocket launch


[113-114] List of Tables [see text for their respective links]

 

Figure 4-1. Research and Development Programs by Office.
Table 4-1. NASA Appropriations by Appropriation Title and Fiscal Year.
Table 4-2. Adjusted Appropriations as of June 30, 1978.
Table 4-3. Authorizations and Appropriations Compared with Budget Requests.
Table 4-4. Budget Requests, Authorizations, Appropriations, Obligations, and Expenditures.
Table 4-5. Budget Requests, Authorizations, Appropriations, and Expenditures - Administrative Operations.
Table 4-6. Budget Requests, Authorizations, Appropriations, and Expenditures - Research and Development.
Table 4-7. Budget Requests, Authorizations, Appropriations, and Expenditures - Construction of Facilities.
Table 4-8. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1969.
Table 4-9. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1970.
Table 4-10. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1971.
Table 4-11. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1972.
Table 4-12. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1973.
Table 4-13. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1974.
Table 4-14. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1975.
Table 4-15. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1976.
Table 4-15a. Funding NASA's Program for TQ.
Table 4-16. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1977.
Table 4-17. Funding NASA's Program for FY 1978.
Table 4-18. Administrative Operations Appropriation by Installation.
Table 4-19. Research and Development Appropriation by NASA Installation.
Table 4-20. Construction of Facilities Appropriation by Facility.
Table 4-21. Research and Development Appropriation by Program.
Table 4-22. Research and Development Budget Plan by Program.
Table 4-23. Summary of Budget Plan by Program.
Table 4-24. NASA Outlays and Inflation Index.


 

[115] This chapter presents, in tabular form, a very brief overview of NASA financing from 1969 through 1978. Summary financial data for the decade - budget requests, congressional authorizations, congressional appropriations, obligations, and expenditures - are presented in Tables 4-1 through 4-7. The data are further broken down by dollar amounts allocated annually to administrative operations (renamed research and program management in 1970), research and development, and construction of facilities. The annual budget process, listing the transfer of funds among these three categories, is presented in more detail in Tables 4-8 through 4-17. Tables 4-18 through 4-20 show annual appropriations for administrative operations, research and development, and construction of facilities by installation. Tables 4-21 and 4-22 focus on the appropriation of funds for research and development for NASA's programs. Figure 4-1 shows, in graphic form, the changes in the offices and programs under which NASA's research and development was carried out between 1969 and 1978.

During the first decade of its existence, NASA's appropriations amounted to almost $32.4 billion. They rose only slightly in the next decade, totaling $36.4 billion for the 1969-78 period. The funds were appropriated predominantly for research and development: 81.5 percent in the first decade and 76.5 percent in the second decade. Administrative operations commanded an increasingly large slice of the appropriated funds, growing from 10.9 percent of the total in the first decade to 21.2 percent of the total in the second decade. As expected, there was a considerable difference in the allocation of funds for the construction of facilities in the two decades. During the first decade, when most of the construction took place, 7.6 percent of NASA's appropriation was allocated to this category. During the second decade, only 2.3 percent was allocated to this category.

The information presented in this chapter provides only a small portion of the financial data accumulated between 1969 and 1978. An analysis of the entire budgeting and financial management process is beyond the scope of this volume.

 

[116] Stages in the NASA Financing Process

Long-Range Financial Planning.1 NASA's financial planning function flowed from its project planning efforts. These complex efforts are beyond the scope of this volume and are not summarized here.

Preparing NASA's Annual Budget. This step includes the preparation of spending proposals by NASA's field installations, the aggregation and winnowing of these proposals by NASA Headquarters, the receiving of Presidential guidelines from the Bureau of the Budget, and the subsequent reconciliation of differences between NASA and the Bureau. (Little data are available on what NASA stood ready to spend if resources had been made available. The general assumption is that agencies always want more and ask for more than they eventually get.)

President's Budget Submitted to Congress. The President's January budget submission to Congress publicly reveals NASA's portion of the overall national budget and constitutes the basis for subsequent congressional action. (The President's requests for NASA, hereafter referred to as NASA's budget requests, have been summarized in this chapter. The total for the agency is comparable over time, but any breakdowns of the total are subject to changing definitions, as indicated in the footnotes.)

Congressional Authorization. The President's budget is primarily a request for congressional appropriations. In addition, for certain agencies and programs, it is necessary for Congress to enact a law authorizing the appropriation. This two-step process applies to NASA2. The authorization law is largely the product of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, although it may be altered on the House and Senate floors and in the House-Senate Conference Committee.

Congressional Appropriation. It is at this point that Congress makes its chief input as to the amount of national resources allocated to NASA. The President's request may be modified at five principal points - the House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee, the House floor, the Senate Committee on Appropriations subcommittee, the Senate floor, and the compromising conference committees. It is possible that the full appropriations committees of the House and Senate may become involved as well.

Bureau of the Budget Apportionment. The Bureau of the Budget establishes certain controls on the release of appropriated funds to the various agencies.

NASA Programming. Once NASA has obtained primary jurisdiction over the funds appropriated to it by Congress, a detailed pie-cutting operation takes place. Funds are earmarked for various programs, projects, and places, setting the stage for the ongoing spending.

[117] Committing, Obligating, Costing, and Disbursing. The flow of financial activity is complex and is beyond the scope of this volume. Only summaries can be shown in the tables. NASA carries out most of its program by contract. Whenever a contract is entered into, an appropriate amount of money is obligated to fulfill the terms of the contract. At some later point, the money actually changes hands and thus is disbursed or expended.

Auditing. The financial activities described above are eventually reviewed or audited both by NASA and by the congressional General Accounting Office to determine the legality of all actions and in some cases the quality of agency procedures and performance.

 

 


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The Mariner Mars unmanned spacecraft which orbited that planet in 1971.

The Mariner Mars unmanned spacecraft which orbited that planet in 1971.

 

A view of Earth as photographed from Apollo 17 during the final lunar landing mission in NASA's Apollo program.

A view of Earth as photographed from Apollo 17 during the final lunar landing mission in NASA's Apollo program.


 

 


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A Saturn 1B launch vehicle lifts off into space on July 15, 1975 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex with Astronauts Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Donald Slayton aboard the Apollo Command Module.

A Saturn 1B launch vehicle lifts off into space on July 15, 1975 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex with Astronauts Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Donald Slayton aboard the Apollo Command Module. The astronauts will dock in space with the Soyuz spacecraft, launched from the Soviet Union earlier that day.


 


1 See Rosholt, Administrative History of NASA, pp.211-217, and Levine, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era, pp.182-202

2 Ibid., p.60, gives the origin of this requirement.


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