House Passes NASA Bill, Cornyn Provisions to Set Goal of Astronaut Landing on Mars
Language from Cornyn’s MANIFEST Act Now Headed to President’s Desk
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 442, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which includes language from Sen. Cornyn’s MANIFEST Act to require NASA to develop plans for the future of U.S. human space exploration, including setting the goal of landing an astronaut on Mars:
“This bill’s passage demonstrates our nation’s strong commitment to the long-term goal of landing a human astronaut on Mars,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I thank my colleague Rep. Culberson for his work on this legislation, and I look forward to the President signing this bill into law so we can continue exploring the next frontier.”
The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 includes the following provisions consistent with Sen. Cornyn’s MANIFEST for Human Spaceflight Act:
· The legislation would require NASA to regularly provide Congress a human exploration strategy outlining goals and destinations for future manned space missions.
· To ensure the agency considers independent views, NASA is directed to partner with the National Academies to provide input and further recommendations that would be included in the final strategy.
· Directs NASA to specifically designate a human presence on the surface of Mars and beyond low-earth orbit as a long-term goal, a position supported by the Spaceflight Committee’s report as well as the broader space exploration community.
· Reaffirms Congressional support for the Space Launch System and the Orion program, and directs any long-term strategy to include opportunities for collaboration with industry and academia.
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.