WASHINGTON—With the Space Station leading the way, NASA has requested a 16 percent increase in its research and development activities as part of a $9.5 billion budget for next year.

R&D would rise from $3.1 billion this year to $3.6 billion under the proposal for fiscal year 1988. The fastest growing program within that category is the Space Station, projected to grow from $420 million this year to $767 million in the new budget.

That increase, however, may draw fire from a Congress worried about trimming the federal deficit. "It's right where it has to be" to support ongoing programs, said a staff member of the House Science and Technology Committee, who requested anonymity, about the proposal: But he predicted that "it's going to come under very close scrutiny, and it may be in trouble" when the time comes to decide how much to spend.

NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher...

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