Trump signs bill authorizing NASA funding, Mars exploration


By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
Related Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump signed a invoice into regulation Tuesday that updates NASA’s mission so as to add exploration of Mars and authorizes $19.5 billion in spending for the U.S. area company for the present finances yr.

It is the primary time in seven years that there was an authorization invoice for the Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration, also called NASA, stated Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a chief sponsor of the invoice. Cruz joined a number of astronauts and different lawmakers within the Oval Workplace to observe Trump signal the invoice.

Final week, Trump despatched Congress a finances proposal that might authorize $19.1 billion in company spending subsequent yr. Congress appropriates funding for all authorities departments and businesses.

“For nearly six many years, NASA’s work has impressed tens of millions and tens of millions of People to think about distant worlds and a greater future proper right here on earth,” Trump stated. “I am delighted to signal this invoice. It has been a very long time since a invoice like this has been signed, reaffirming our dedication to the core mission of NASA: human area exploration, area science and know-how.”

The measure amends present regulation so as to add human exploration of the pink planet as a objective for the company. It helps use of the Worldwide Area Station by means of at the least 2024, together with personal sector corporations partnering with NASA to ship cargo and experiments, amongst different steps.

Trump invited a number of lawmakers to remark after the signing, beginning with Cruz earlier than shifting on to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. When Trump invited Vice President Mike Pence to talk, Pence recommended that former astronaut and Sen. Invoice Nelson, D-Fla., be allowed to say a number of phrases.

“He is a Democrat. I wasn’t going to let him converse,” Trump quipped, to laughter. Nelson did say a couple of phrases, praising the invoice for placing the company on a “twin monitor” with business corporations making roundtrips to the Worldwide Area Station and NASA persevering with to discover the universe.

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Comply with Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

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This story has been corrected to point out that authorization is for the 2017 finances yr, as an alternative of 2018.

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