President Barack Obama's 2010 budget plan includes $18.7 billion for NASA, an increase of $1 billion over last year, but will retire the nations respected space shuttle program.

Obama's budget proposal does not include more than $1 billion the agency will get from the stimulus package.

An $18.7 billion investment is promising, but it is just the first step in many that must take place, said Congressman Parker Griffith.

The Space Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting space exploration, seemed to agree with Griffith's remark and issued a statement saying NASA needs more money.

The budget proposal for NASA represents a disappointingly small step in the right direction, Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham said.

It is far from what is needed if the U.S. is to stimulate the economy, create more high-tech jobs, and hold on to its eroding leadership position in space. The proposed budget is a stay-the-course budget, not a budget for stimulus or change. Combined with the lingering absence of a NASA administrator, we are missing a golden opportunity to lead and inspire at a time when leadership and inspiration are crucial.

Obama backs plans to retire the space shuttle next year, which could leave the United States without a shuttle until 2015 when it plans to send Ares rockets and the Orion into space.

Obama's budget proposal does not contain funds to study greenhouse gases and global warming.

The proposal says: NASA will develop new space-based research sensors in support of the administration's goal to deploy a global climate research and monitoring system.