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Trump renews NASA mission for human space travel, deep space exploration

2017.03.21 06:44

President Trump put NASA on course for deep space exploration Tuesday, signing a bill that authorizes $19.5 billion in funding to revive the agency’s manned-space flight program and plan missions to Mars and beyond.

Mr. Trump spoke of the renewal of NASA’s mission, including development of new spacecraft and preparation for a mars mission, in historic terms.

“Almost half a century ago our brave astronauts first planted the American flag on the moon. That was a big moment in our history,” he said at an Oval Office signing ceremony. “Now this nation is ready to be the first in space once again. Today we are taking the initial steps toward a bold and bright new future of American space flight.”

The bill focused on manned missions and partnerships with private space spacecraft companies but also set goals for space science, space technology and aeronautics programs, including health monitoring and treatment of astronauts’ duty-related medical conditions.

The legislation received bipartisan support in Congress. However, the new vision for NASA faced criticism from advocates for fighting climate change because it reduces the agency’s earth-science programs.

The ceremony was attended by several astronauts and members of Congress from both parties.

After the singing, an astronaut presented Mr. Trump with a NASA flight jacket.

Congress has not passed a NASA authorization bill in seven years.

“It’s been a long time since a bill like this has been signed, reaffirming our national commitment to the core mission of NASA: Human space exploration, space science and technology,” said Mr. Trump.

The Washington Times

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