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NASA Gets $19.5 Billion Budget to Get Humans to Mars by 2030

NASA Gets $19.5 Billion Budget to Get Humans to Mars by 2030

NASA's going to infinity and beyond - specifically, to Mars.

For the first time in almost 6 and a half years, the House Of Representatives has recently passed a NASA authorization bill last March 7.

The bill sums up the goals of the roadmap, stating: "It is the sense of Congress that expanding human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and advancing toward human missions to Mars in the 2030s requires early strategic planning and timely decisions to be made in the near-term on the necessary courses of action for commitments to achieve short-term and long-term goals and objectives".

HollywoodLifers, do you think we'll see astronauts on Mars?

The committee called Mars "the appropriate long-term goal for the human space flight program", and it cited among other reasons, economic benefits, national prestige, scientific discovery, and a sense of shared destiny as reasons for sending people to Mars.

NASA will also be provided with funding to study Jupiter's moon, Europa, which is thought to have water, and could be able to sustain life for long periods of time. There also plans for another moon mission in the 2020s.

According to Space News, the bill received no vocal opposition on the floor of the House despite its $208 million increase of the budget from 2016. NASA is now operating under an ongoing resolution setting its 2017 budget at $19.2 billion or 2016 levels.

At least for now, NASA's Earth Science division is left intact, but it is not clear whether Trump will sign the bill or not.

After nearly six and a half years, Congress has passed a NASA authorization bill for the first time, and it's now on its way to the desk of President Donald Trump for his signature.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) told SpaceNews.com that, while she supported it overall, the bill wasn't flawless.

However, his administration has also indicated that it wants to eliminate Nasa's Earth Science division - which studies climate change - although that wasn't mentioned in the bill. Recently, the White House proposed defunding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and Trump had been poised to defund NASA's Earth Science division.

President Trump has expressed support for a crewed exploration of Mars, and in his inauguration speech, he said he's "ready to unlock the mysteries of space".

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