WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives today approved the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 (S.442), which cleared the Senate last month. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation reaffirms Congress’ commitment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and directs NASA to pursue a balanced portfolio of activities.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 reaffirms our support for the bold visions and commitments that will shape America’s future in space. This bill reiterates the importance of maintaining NASA’s continuity of purpose to ensure America remains a leader in space exploration. It also directs NASA to create a roadmap for human exploration and guides the future path of exploration for decades to come. With the passage of this bill, we take another step in making America great again. ”
Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas): “The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 is a bipartisan and bicameral bill that creates certainty and long-term stability for NASA and America’s human space flight programs. The bill continues support for the International Space Station, the Space Launch System, the Orion crew vehicle, and the commercial cargo and crew programs. Its passage puts NASA and America on a clear path forward into the next chapter of space exploration. I am also pleased to note the inclusion of the TREAT Astronauts Act, legislation that I introduced to ensure that our nation’s astronauts receive support for medical issues associated with their service while also advancing research in long-term space missions.”
The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 authorizes the House’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 funding level of $19.5 billion. The bill maintains support for the James Webb Space Telescope, the Space Launch System, the Orion crew vehicle, the International Space Station, and the commercial crew and cargo programs. The bill makes the determination that the technological and scientific goals of the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission have not been demonstrated, and requires a report on alternatives to demonstrate the technologies needed for a human mission to Mars.
The NASA Transition Authorization Act also supports NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, as well as direction for a mission to Europa. It directs the NASA administrator to seek reimbursement whenever responsibilities are transferred to NASA from another agency or when NASA funds another agency’s activities. It also includes the TREAT Astronauts Act, which gives NASA the ability to care for our astronauts and enhance our understanding of the effects of spaceflight on the human body.