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Congressional Bills Set NASA's Long-Term Goals

Artist's concept of SLS/Orion on the launch pad. Photo: NASA
Artist's concept of SLS/Orion on the launch pad. Photo: NASA

The “MANIFEST for Human Spaceflight Act of 2017” was filed in the House and Senate – making Mars a key goal in NASA’s long-term, human spaceflight vision.

The bills require a strategic plan for NASA to work its way up to Mars, including missions to cis-lunar space – that’s the area between the Earth and the moon.

The legislation requires the use of NASA’s new rocket system and capsule, the SLS and Orion, to lead exploration into deep space.

Another bill, filed by central Florida Republican Congressman Bill Posey, calls for a return to the moon and the development of a sustained human presence on the lunar surface.

The bills are making their ways through committee in each of the chambers. Congress is responsible for funding NASA’s budget each year.

NASA is currently without a permanent administrator as President Obama’s appointee stepped down after the Trump administration took over, and President Trump has yet to name a new administrator.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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