President signs NASA bill; Cornyn provisions to set goal of astronaut landing on Mars

Language from Cornyn’s MANIFEST Act Now Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) issued the following statement on March 21 after President Trump signed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Transition Authorization Act of 2017 into law, including language from Sen. Cornyn’s MANIFEST Act to require NASA to develop plans for the future of U.S. human space exploration and set the goal of landing an astronaut on Mars:

“The President’s signature on this legislation reinforces our commitment to human space exploration and American innovation,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Texas has and will continue to be at the forefront of human space exploration, and I want to thank Senator Cruz and the members of the Texas congressional delegation who fought for this legislation.”

The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, now law, includes the following provisions consistent with Sen. Cornyn’s MANIFEST for Human Spaceflight Act:

  • The legislation would require NASA to regularly provide Congress a human exploration strategy outlining goals and destinations for future manned space missions.
  • To ensure the agency considers independent views, NASA is directed to partner with the National Academies to provide input and further recommendations that would be included in the final strategy.
  • Directs NASA to specifically designate a human presence on the surface of Mars and beyond low-earth orbit as a long-term goal, a position supported by the Spaceflight Committee’s report as well as the broader space exploration community.
  • Reaffirms Congressional support for the Space Launch System and the Orion program, and directs any long-term strategy to include opportunities for collaboration with industry and academia.

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