Zoom in Four of the United States Senators have tabled a new bill that defines space policy for NASA over the next decade. The new authorization legislation is largely consistent with much of NASA's current activities, but in some key respects is different from White House policies.
Most notably, legislation requires NASA to support the International Space Station by 2030. The Trump administration is seeking to commercialize low-Earth space stations by 2025, perhaps by becoming a client of a privately managed International Space Station or by support the development of smaller private laboratories.
"By expanding the ISS by 2030, this legislation will help grow our already expanding space economy, consolidating US leadership in space, increasing US competitiveness around the world and creating more jobs and opportunities here at home," the senator said Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who chairs the subcommittee on space and aviation, in a news release.
Cruz joins three other senators in introducing the 201
9 NASA Authorization Act: Subcommittee Ranking Member, Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz.), And Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) And Mary Cantwell (D-Wash.), Who is chairman and member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, respectively.
The new legislation follows the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which Cruz also directed and which President Trump entered into law in March 2017. However, almost immediately after that bill became law, Cruz characterized it. as an interim measure for a sustainable NASA through the presidential transition. The new bill is intended to be a broader look at space policy and covers the Trump administration's Artemis program for landing people on the moon.
Support for Artemis
Although resolution legislation in 2019 does not mention the moon landing in 2024, it calls on NASA to "cooperate with commercial and international partners to establish a sustainable lunar survey by 2028" As part of that, a legislative source said, NASA will have to land people on the moon before 2028.
"The purpose here is to ensure that, once we land on the moon in 2024, permanent construction will continue "We don't want a repeat of the program
This is remarkable, because while Vice President Mike Pence talks about the moon base, some NASA officials have adopted a strategy for moving to the moon, as if it were a box to check on the way to Mars. ( They were magnified by President Trump, who seems more interested in Mars than the moon.) Instead, the new permit bill says the moon should play an important role in preparing NASA for its overall strategy to send Mars to humans.
The new legislation also addresses a number of other areas of space flight policy. For example, it requires the United States to maintain a continuous human presence in low Earth orbit throughout and beyond the useful life of the ISS; he supports NASA's efforts to develop next-generation space suits; and she says the agency should make full use of private sector investment to strengthen human space exploration.
In addition, the legislation supports NASA's recent announcement that it wants to develop and launch a new space telescope before or before 2025 to detect the vast majority of Earth-bound asteroids that could potentially hit Earth. "NASA needs to develop and launch a special infrared space telescope," the bill said.
Legislative legislation is only part of the budgeting process. If this bill becomes law, it will serve as a guide for NASA and the budget authors, who still need to pass appropriations legislation, which funds the activities envisioned in the legislation. However, because of the fragmented political process in Washington, DC, agencies such as NASA often have to survive continuing resolutions rather than new budget bills.