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Glenn Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)

February 03, 2004
RELEASE : 04-047
NASA Begins New Exploration Journey With FY 2005 Budget
The following is a statement by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe regarding the Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget proposal.

"The Administration's 2005 budget request for NASA implements the new U.S. space exploration policy. This budget for the 2005 fiscal year reflects the President's vision, which is to advance U.S. scientific, security and economic interests through a robust space exploration program. This exploration vision is affordable, fiscally responsible, and sustainable.

"As the President stated in his speech, we are embarking on a journey, not a race. We begin this journey knowing that many years of hard work will be required, yet we can look forward to achieving exciting results in the near term.

"The new space exploration policy is the product of months of extensive and careful deliberations. The importance of these deliberations increased with the findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which emphasized the importance of setting clear, long-term goals for the nation's human space flight program.

"To achieve these goals, NASA will plan and implement an integrated, long-term robotic and human exploration program structured with measurable milestones. NASA will execute the plan using the best available resources, accumulated experience and technology.

"NASA's budget will increase by $1 billion over the next five years when compared with the President's 2004 plan. That is an increase of approximately five percent per year over the next three years, and approximately one percent for the following two years.

"Although the budget increases are modest, NASA will be able to carry out a robust exploration program. During the next decade, retiring the Space Shuttle will free over $4 billion annually, enabling full-scale development and operation of robotic and human moon missions.

"NASA will also invigorate its workforce, focus operations, and revitalize field centers. As exploration activities get underway, NASA anticipates planning, reviews and changes to align and improve infrastructure. To achieve the exploration vision, we will be making decisions on how to best implement new programs. While some of these necessary actions will not be easy, they are essential to the agency's total effort.

"The vision makes the needed decisions to secure long-term U.S. space leadership. It provides an exciting set of major milestones with human and robotic missions. It pursues compelling science and cutting-edge technologies. It invites new ideas and innovations for accomplishing the vision. The President's challenging vision provides unique opportunities for engaging students across the country, "as only NASA can," to enter careers in science, engineering, technology and math.

"The vision provides the opportunity for new generations of Americans to explore, innovate, discover and enrich our nation in ways unimaginable today."

Information about the NASA vision and budget is available on the Internet at:


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