The NASA budget since 1995

For my accompanying blog, see “NASA’s (really) declining budget,” April 8, 2021.

NASA’s purchase power has dropped 16% since 1995. Updated November 1, 2022, to reflect the latest 2022 NASA Inflation Tables. Credit: Edgar Zapata,


  1. 2021 Bio/Phys. Sci. moved from ISS R&D to Sci. line. (Not one for one; ISS R&D drop 2X larger than new line)
  2. Commercial LEO 2020 $15M, 2021 $17M
  3. Applies the latest 2022 NASA Inflation Tables. General US Inflation for 2021=7.0%, 2022=7.9% as of March 2022. But note that NASA’s updated indices for these years are 3.8% & 5.7% resp.

…and a comparison of inflation indexes

A comparison of US general inflation and the NASA inflation indexes. Data for the general inflation index is from the US BLS. Data for the NASA inflation index is from 2022. Credit: Edgar Zapata,


  1. A dollar in 1995, using the general US inflation indexes, would require $1.93 today for the same purchasing power, or using the NASA inflation indexes, $2.03. Overall there is not much difference between the indices. NASA would need about $2 in 2022 to purchase what $1 purchased in 1995. NASA’s 2022 budget is less than this equivalent purchasing power. NASA’s budget, to have the same purchasing power in 2022 as in 1995, would be about $28.7 billion, but it is actually about $24 billion, or 16% less.
  2. The largest deviation between the indices occurs in 2022.
  3. Watch for updates.