Congress passes new bill giving Nasa $19.5 billion for Mars exploration, but says it must happen within the next 25 years


'In order to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the long-term exploration and utilization activities of the United States, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps, including engaging international academic, and industry partners to ensure the activities in the Administration's human exploration program balance how those activities might also help meet the requirement of future exploration and utilization activities leading to human habitation on the surface of Mars,' reads the bill, S.3346.

The Senate also views this solid bill as way to block the incoming US president from up heaving the nation's space program, reports USA Today.

And it may be in response to President Obama's move to scrap the Bush administration's Constellation program that looked to send astronauts back to the moon, which many were not fond of.

'We have seen in the past the importance of stability and predictability in NASA and space exploration, (and) that whenever one has a change in administration, we have seen the chaos that can be caused by the cancellation of major programs,' said Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who chairs the subcommittee overseeing the space program.


'The impact in terms of jobs lost, the impact in terms of money wasted has been significant.'

This bill also marks the first time a trip to Mars has been mandated by law.

'Fifty-five years after President Kennedy challenged the nation to put a man on the moon, the Senate is challenging NASA to put humans on Mars,' said Florida Senator Bill Nelson, senior Democrat on the Commerce panel.

'The priorities that we've laid out for NASA in this bill mark the beginning of a new era of American spaceflight.'

Money will be delegated by the legislation for different components of the mission to Mars, such as $4.5 billion for exploration, some $5 billion for space operation about $5.4 billion for science.

The bill also provides a range of vital space programs the agency is set to carry out, such as continued development of the new Space Launch System launchers and the Orion Earth-orbit-and-beyond spacecraft.

The law states that Nasa is to have an unmanned crew mission underway in 2018 and in 2021 send a manned mission.


It also states that agency has to work to keep the ISS operational until at least 2024 and to complete new spacesuits for Mars.

Allowing greater opportunities for aerospace companies to conduct business in Low Earth Orbit and improve monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of the medical effects astronauts experience from spending time in deep space are also included in the new bipartisan.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3804876/Congress-passes-new-bill-giving-Nasa-19-5-billion-Mars-exploration-says-happen-25-years.html#ixzz4LKBrV3iq

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