Democratic 2013 NASA Authorization Bill Calls for $18.1 Billion, Commitment to Human Landing on Mars

Democratic 2013 NASA Authorization Bill Calls for $18.1 Billion, Commitment to Human Landing on Mars

As promised, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) introduced a Democratic version of a 2013 NASA authorization bill today.  The bill would authorize NASA funding at $18.1 billion, higher than President Obama’s FY2014 request of $17.7 billion and much higher than the $16.9 billion in the Republican version of the bill.

Edwards announced this morning that she would introduce a bold and audacious bill that clearly sets the vision for NASA as landing humans on the surface of Mars in 2030.  Highlights of the bill, H.R. 2616, as listed in an emailed Democratic committee press release, include the following:

·     Preserving NASA’s purchasing power relative to FY2012 enacted levels by authorizing $18.1 billion;

·     Providing a clear goal of a crewed mission to the surface of Mars and requiring a roadmap that identifies intermediate destinations and activities which contribute to enabling achievement of that goal;

·     Recognizing the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew vehicle as the highest priorities for carrying out the Mars goal;

·     Providing robust funding for commercial crew system development of $700 million per year;

·     Maintaining U.S. commitment to International Space Station (ISS) operations through 2020 and initiating a process for determining if and how long ISS should operate beyond 2020;

·     Restoring Planetary Science to $1.5 billion in annual funding following recent cuts to the program;

·     Maintaining a sound Earth Science program that ensures observing systems development, and advances research, knowledge, and applied data uses that benefit society;

·     Sustaining a stable aeronautics research program, consistent with FY 2012 enacted levels, that supports research priorities, strategic initiatives, and flight demonstrations;

·     Investing in space technology to enable future missions, spur innovation, and contribute to economic growth and job-creation; and

·     Sustaining NASA’s STEM education activities and continuing agency education and outreach activities supported by scientists and engineers.

The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee is scheduled to markup a Republican-drafted version of the 2013 NASA authorization bill on Wednesday at 10:00 am in 2318 Rayburn.



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