NASA Transition Authorization Act Passes House

Mar 7, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House passed S. 442, the “NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017”, by voice vote under suspension of the rules. This bipartisan and bicameral bill authorizes NASA appropriations for Fiscal Year 2017. On February 17, 2017, S. 442 was passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent.

Among its notable provisions, the bill puts America on the path to sending humans to the surface of Mars; emphasizes the importance of safety in NASA’s implementation of the Commercial Crew Program; and provides former astronauts and payload specialists with medical monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment.

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said today in a statement on the House Floor, “While S. 442 is a one year reauthorization, it enables NASA to continue making effective progress on its programs, including on the key systems that will enable us to send NASA astronauts beyond low Earth orbit and on to Mars. The bill also provides policy direction in a number of important areas, including astronaut healthcare, human spaceflight safety, protection of Apollo lunar landing sites, orbital debris mitigation, and facilities and infrastructure planning.

“We need a strong NASA, and we need to provide it with the sustained commitment of vision, resources, and support to carry out the challenging tasks our nation has given it.”

Ranking Member Ami Bera (D-CA) of the Subcommittee on Space said, “For nearly 60 years, NASA has been one of our nation’s greatest symbols of American excellence and ingenuity, and I’m pleased that the NASA Transition Authorization Act will provide important funding stability for our mission in space and aeronautics. That said, I believe this bill would have been better served by a comprehensive multi-mission outlook that includes Earth Science, Planetary Science, Astrophysics, and Heliophysics. I’m energized that this bill establishes a requirement for NASA to provide a Human Exploration Roadmap that lays out how we send humans to the surface of Mars – something that I believe we can, must, and will achieve.”