“Whatever afflicts the space program is deeply entrenched and will not be easily changed by issuing a few recommendations without significant follow-through from NASA, Congress and the administration,” the report states, noting that then-President Bill Clinton in the 1990s was able to double the budgets for the National Institutes of Health to more than $30 billion a year in fiscal 2010 money.
In constant dollars, that is comparable to the level of funding NASA enjoyed during the height of the space race, and the report's authors found “a similar increase in NASA's budget is both reasonable and achievable.” The analysis, arguments and recommendations are worth reading in full at www.spacefoundation.org/research/pioneering
“It's important to remember that NASA is still an extraordinary organization,” says Elliot Pulham, the foundation's CEO. “In contrast to other reports on the agency, this one wasn't prompted by a crisis. It was really prompted from the point of view that this is an agency with tremendous capabilities, and a tremendous cadre of supporters who want it to do well. It's a great agency that really needs more focus.”