FY2024 NASA Budget cut implications

The NASA Administrator recently penned a letter to a member of the House Appropriations Committee where he outlined the effects of the upcoming FY2024 budget cuts. Bill Nelson (NASA Admin) stated that the upcoming budget concerns could conceivably cause irreputable damage to all NASA missions affected.

There are a couple of scenarios outlined. The first would be a total budget cut across all sectors with NASA losing out on 1.4 billion compared to the budget in 2023. A second would would see a deeper cut to non-defense sectors, here NASA having reductions down to 19.8 billion compared to 24 billion in 2023.

Depending on the cut, certain projects are slated to be completely dissected or delayed. These are major projects as well. Artemis IV could have major elements of its operations cut. The upgrades to the SLS and lunar gateway and could potentially pause lunar landings beyond Artemis IV. The fiscal cuts would also affect missions currently being designed. That means the sample return mission to Mars, missions to Venus and Titan as well could see delays in timing or full cuts.

Current missions as well would see impacts, such as replenishment missions to the ISS and the future deorbit. A number of personal would also take the hit, up to 4000 NASA people and contractors across the agency.

This is the worse off scenario of course, with lesser cuts seeing delays to all missions as well as a stated cut to 1000 personal instead of 4000.

Cyber security always takes a back seat in these types of missions and cuts in development would almost certainly see security take a major hit. The importance of cyber protections in future missions is understated. The Artemis program for example could have major complications in a potential cyber attack, with the crew being in a precarious position as it is.