The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 is a U.S. law authorizing NASA appropriations for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2013 with the same top-line budget values as requested by US President Barack Obama. It resulted from the Augustine Commission's review of then-current crewed space flight plans.

The law supports an overall growth in science, aeronautics, and space technology and defines a long-term goal for human spaceflight to expand a permanent human presence beyond low Earth orbit. Key objectives of this goal include full utilization of the International Space Station (ISS), determining the ability of humans to live in outer space for extended periods of time, maximizing the role of space exploration and space technology in current and future missions, advancing knowledge and inspiring young people into higher education, and building upon international partnerships.

The act was signed by President Obama on October 11, 2010. A total of $58 billion in funding is called for, spread across three years.[1]

Human spaceflight

In regard to human spaceflight, the law is intended to:

Space technology

The law will invest in space technologies and robotics capabilities that are tied to the overall space exploration framework and support U.S. innovation and competitiveness.

Commercial cargo and crew

In regard to commercial cargo and crew, the law will:

International Space Station

In regard to the International Space Station (ISS), the law will:

Additional "launch on need" Shuttle mission

The law authorizes an additional Space Shuttle flight (STS-135), contingent on a safety review, to provide necessary support for the extension of the ISS.

Science and aeronautics

The law protects a balanced portfolio for NASA, including full funding of aeronautics, Earth science and space science.


In regard to education, the law will:

Rescoping and revitalizing institutional capabilities

The law requires NASA to examine alternative management models for NASA's workforce, centers, and capabilities, while enforcing short-term prohibitions on major center displacements and reductions-in-force until the study is completed.[3]

See also


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation".

  1. ^ Klamper, Amy (October 11, 2010). "NASA Has New Authorization but Future Remains Uncertain". Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  2. ^ "S.3729 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010". United States Congress. October 11, 2010.
  3. ^ "Featured Legislation: The NASA Authorization Act of 2010". United States Senate. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2011.