For fiscal year 2014, which covers Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014, Congress approved $17.6 billion in federal funding for NASA. The agency expects to receive slightly less — $17.5 billion — for fiscal year 2015.
Funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is part of the federal budget passed every year by the United States Congress. As NASA is a federal agency, it relies on government monies for its continued operations.
NASA was officially formed in 1958 when President Eisenhower signed the Space Act into law. The White House Office of Management and Budget states that this agency uses space exploration to further scientific and technological advancements that will improve the economic health and stability of the United States and to help people — not just Americans. The Space Act requires that the activities of NASA be used for the betterment of all people on earth. To that end, NASA conducts research to help humanity; many of its inventions are not obviously space related.
According to Discovery, some of the inventions directly attributed to NASA's research include invisible braces, scratch-resistant lenses, memory foam, ear thermometers, shoe insoles, long-distance telecommunications, adjustable smoke detectors, safety grooving, cordless tools and water filters.