Trump Signs NASA Funding Bill
March 22, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that increases
the budget of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
maintains the agency's earth science program and adds human exploration
of Mars as a goal.
The measure increases NASA's budget to $19.5 billion. Trump's initial
budget proposal submitted to Congress last week allocated $19.1 billion,
a modest decrease from the current spending level.
said the law will reinforce NASA's core mission of human space
exploration while continuing to transition activities to private
aerospace companies. "I hope they will pay us a lot of money," Trump
said in an Oval Office signing ceremony attended by a bipartisan group
The measure also directs the agency to develop programs to get a "crewed
mission to Mars in the 2030's" and explore the "potential for human
habitation on another celestial body" in the 21st century.
A manned mission to Mars had been widely viewed as NASA's next great
challenge. The agency is expected to develop new technology to achieve
the mission by relying heavily on private aviation companies.
SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, is scheduled to launch an unmanned spaceship
to Mars as soon as 2018.
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