How Much Does NASA Cost?:
- Defense (including State, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs - $618 billion.
- Health and Human Services - $78.3 billion.
- Education - $71.2 billion.
- Housing and Urban Development - $33.1 billion.
- Energy - $28.4 billion.
- Agriculture - $21.5 billion.
What Does the NASA Budget Provide?:
The other big news is a mission to actually capture a small asteroid and possibly place it on the moon for astronauts to study.
NASA will continue to support the new James Webb Space Telescope, planned to launch in 2018. It will replace the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA's budget will support the develop of new technology, such as a laser-based communication system and a zero-gravity propellant transfer. It provides $1.8 billion to revamp the Landsat program, and develop climate sensors for the Joint Polar Satellite System. (Source: NASA, NASA Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request , April 10, 2013)
How Does NASA's Cost Affect the Economy?:
A 2002 study by Professor H.R. Hertzfeld of George Washington University showed there is a large return to the companies work with NASA on its research contracts. These companies are able to commercialize the products developed and market them. The 15 companies studied received $1.5 billion in benefits from a NASA R&D investment of $64 million.
Small companies didn't receive as much benefit, because they didn't have the ability to market the technology on a larger scale. The study concludes that NASA could create greater economic benefit by continuing the relationship with the companies they work with. NASA could also help open additional financial and marketing doors for these companies.
These benefits trickle down to everyday life. Since 1976, there were 1,400 NASA inventions that wound up as products or services,such as kidney dialysis machines, CAT scanners, and even freeze-dried food. (Article updated April 11, 2013)