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Funding Science and NASA

U.S. House Science Committee

Missions and money are part of our national science program. Most of the money for NASA's programs comes from the US government through taxes collected from citizens of the the country. Schools such as yours are funded the same way as are colleges, universities and scientific research. Who decides where the money should go?


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Committee on Science

The U.S. Congress has the responsibility for:

The committee is responsible for all energy research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor, and all federally owned or operated nonmilitary energy laboratories · Astronautical research and development, including:

  • Resources, personnel, equipment, and facilities
  • Civil aviation research and development
  • Environmental research and development
  • Marine research
  • Measures relating to the commercial application of energy technology
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, standardization of weights & measures and the metric system
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Space Council
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Weather Service
  • Outer space, including exploration and control thereof
  • Science Scholarships
  • Scientific research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor.

Excerpts from the HISTORY OF THE COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 105TH CONGRESS:

"The Committee on Science has its roots in the intense reaction to the Soviet launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957. Early in 1958 Speaker Sam Rayburn convened the House of Representatives, and the first order of the day was a resolution offered by Majority Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts. It read, “Resolved that there is hereby created a Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration...” The Select Committee performed its tasks with both speed and skill by writing the Space Act creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and chartering the permanent House Committee on Science and Astronautics, now known as the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, with a jurisdiction comprising both science and space."

"At the start of the 105th Congress, the Committee on Science was charged with the task of developing a long-range science and technology policy. Chairman Sensenbrenner appointed the Committee's Vice Chairman, Vernon Ehlers, (R-MI) to lead a study of the current state of the Nation's science and technology policy. The National Science Policy Study, entitled “Unlocking Our Future Toward A New National Science Policy” was unveiled in September of 1998 and was endorsed by the Full House on Oct. 8, 1998, and serves as a policy guide to the Committee, Congress and the scientific community."

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National Science Policy

Unlocking Our Future: Toward a New National Science Policy is a result of many hours of hearings, reports, and much discussion about how to improve science and technology in our nation. Click here for the complete policy.

The vision the committee followed was: The United States of America must maintain and improve its pre-eminent position in science and technology in order to advance human understanding of the universe and all it contains, and to improve the lives, health, and freedom of all peoples.

The following is a quote from the committee's Improving Math and Science Education review.

"During the last Congress, the House Science Committee developed a new National Science Policy, which is outlined in the report, Unlocking Our Future: Toward a New National Science Policy. The report represents a comprehensive review and analysis of current science and technology practices and policies, as well as input from scientists, researchers, academia, government and private sector stakeholders. Unlocking Our Future was adopted by the full House of Representatives on October 8, 1998.

"Unlocking Our Future: Toward a New National Science Policy concludes that one of the primary adjustments that must be made is the strengthening of our systems of mathematics and science education, from preschool to universities. For science to continue to impart benefits both to the economy and society at large, we must adjust the American scientific enterprise to meet new challenges created by the development and advancement of society and the global economy.

"Education is the key to developing the intellectual capacity of our children -- the next generation of innovators, consumers and citizens. Our K-12 educational systems serve to prepare future scientists, researchers and engineers for further study in college and graduate school; to provide a foundation for those who will enter the workforce in other capacities; and to convey a scientific and technical understanding so that all individuals can make informed decisions as consumers and voters. It is the responsibility of our educational systems to continuously and diligently nurture future generations in order to provide them the opportunity to contribute and prosper in the technology-based world of tomorrow.

"We have much to be proud of in our national education system, but we ought always to be seeking to address our weaknesses and to improve our performance. Over the course of the 106th Congress, the House Committee on Science will be conducting a comprehensive review, SciEdu: Improving Math and Science, of science and mathematics education in the U.S. This study is examining appropriate reforms government, teachers, institutions of higher education, parents and even students can undertake that will improve science, mathematics, engineering and technology education for every student." Read more on Improving Math and Science.

Click here for a Summary of Recommendations


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NASA Missions

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Space Science Missions Index
Missions in Study Missions in Development Operating Missions
Past Missions Multi-Mission Programs Potential Missions Beyond 2007

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How Congress Works

The U.S. House of Representatives
The Legislative Process - Tying it All Together: More about the Legislative Process

How Our Laws Are Made: More about How Our Laws Are Made.

The U.S. House Of Representatives Educational Resources. More about Educational Resources


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