Nasa's budget inadequate for its goals

2012-12-06 09:34


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington – Nasa suffers from a "mismatch" between its goals and the budget it has been given to achieve them, according to a panel that said the US space agency may need a complete overhaul.

The National Research Council, which convened an independent group of top US scientists, urged the White House to set a clear agenda for the agency, amid disagreement in the scientific community, and in the country as a whole, regarding just where the agency should be going.

The panel lamented "the lack of national consensus on Nasa’s most publicly visible human spaceflight goal," Albert Carnesale, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, who chaired the committee that wrote the report, said.

“One stated goal for Nasa’s human spaceflight program is to visit an asteroid by 2025,” he said, but he noted that scientists inside the agency have questioned this objective.

“We've seen limited evidence that this has been widely accepted as a compelling destination by Nasa’s own work force, by the nation as a whole, or by the international community,” he said.

This lack of agreement, “along with budget uncertainty, has undermined the agency's ability to guide programme planning and allocate funding,” Carnesale said.


The study, which was sponsored by Nasa, called on the White House to take the lead in setting long term priorities for the US space agency.

The panel flagged what it called “a mismatch between the portfolio of programs and activities assigned to the agency, and the budget allocated by Congress”.

It added that “legislative restrictions inhibit Nasa from more efficiently managing its personnel and infrastructure”.

The panel said there were several possible ways to reduce the “mismatch,” though it acknowledged any path would be difficult.

One scenario would involve “an aggressive restructuring program to reduce infrastructure and personnel costs and improve efficiency,” the panel suggested.

Another would involve “more cost-sharing partnerships with other US government agencies, private sector industries, and international partners,” while a third possibility would be to “increase the size of the Nasa budget.”

The fourth possibility the committee suggested was for the US administration to considerably reduce the size and scope of Nasa’s portfolio to better fit its current and anticipated budget.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    us  |  space  |  nasa
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks take ‘no mercy’ approach
Burger to equal Bok RWC record
Japan victory attracts record TV figures
iPads the secret to Japanese RWC success
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.