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senate Bill S. 442

Authorizing Funding for NASA in Fiscal Year 2017

Argument in favor

NASA should make human exploration of deep space and Mars a goal, in addition to ending reliance on Russia to get American astronauts into space.

Paul d's Opinion
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02/27/2017
Although I have approved the bill, there needs to be funding for NASA to continue Climate Change Research.
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Larrybz's Opinion
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02/27/2017
Climate change has to be inclusive and specifically listed.
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Tafinzer's Opinion
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03/05/2017
Science and space exploration are critical. This funding is necessary and should be approved On a nonpartisan basis. The climate change issue is being addressed by multiple other agencies. It is very sad that we have to rely on the Russians to put our people in the Space Station. Approve this please.
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Argument opposed

This bill won’t actually provide the funding needed to accomplish the goals it outlines because that will have to be authorized in an appropriations bill.

Austin's Opinion
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02/27/2017
Omission of climate change research funding is unacceptable. Even if you don't believe it is caused by humanity, the evidence is conclusive that the environment is undergoing huge changes that need to be researched further so that solutions can be found and implemented.
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Kate's Opinion
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02/27/2017
One key aspect of NASA's mission is the research of and guidance regarding our stewardship of THIS planet. While the rest of the bill seems adequate to allow NASA to accomplish other goals in the space program, climate change research is a glaring omission.
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James's Opinion
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02/27/2017
Climate change should remain a focus area of NASA.
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What is Senate Bill S. 442?

This bill would authorize $19.5 billion in funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during fiscal year 2017. It also outlines long-term priorities for NASA, including human exploration of Mars and the development of capabilities needed for crewed and uncrewed deep space exploration missions.

Specifically, the bill continues support for the development of the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and the Orion crew vehicle for deep space exploration. NASA would be tasked with launching an uncrewed exploration mission by 2018 and a crewed exploration mission by 2021. It also supports full utilization of the International Space Station through at least 2024 with the continued use of private sector space companies to deliver cargo and undertake experiments, and facilitates the development of vehicles to transport American astronauts without relying on Russian launches. NASA would also outline a plan to make low-earth orbit more accessible to the private sector without government support.

Human exploration of Mars in the next 25 years would be added as one of NASA’s formal goals and objectives, and NASA would be submit a “roadmap” for accomplishing it to Congress.

NASA would be authorized to provide for the medical monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of astronauts which would include tests for conditions that NASA deems to be associated with human space flight.

As an authorization of funding, this bill doesn’t actually allow money to be spent on these programs. That will require the passage of an appropriations bill at a later date. But it authorizes the following amounts to be spent by NASA based on the following high-level breakdown:

  • $5.500 billion for science;
  • $5.023 billion for space operations;
  • $4.330 billion for exploration;

  • $2.788 billion for safety, security, and mission services;

  • $640 million for aeronautics;
  • $686 million for space technology;
  • $388 million for construction and environmental compliance and restoration;
  • $115 million for education;
  • $37 million for inspector general.

Impact

NASA; private sector space companies; and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 442

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced this bill to build on NASA’s achievements and continue to advance space exploration and science:

“This bipartisan legislative achievement provides NASA and the future of the U.S. space program with the stability and certainty it needs moving forward with a new administration. I look forward to working with colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to ensure that our nation’s new era of pioneers can continue to innovate and explore with clarity and purpose.”

This legislation has the bipartisan support of seven cosponsors in the Senate, including four Democrats and three Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Tim Powers / Creative Commons)

AKA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017

Official Title

A bill to authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedMarch 21st, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed March 7th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
  • The senate Passed February 17th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
    IntroducedFebruary 17th, 2017

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    Although I have approved the bill, there needs to be funding for NASA to continue Climate Change Research.
    Like (592)
    Follow
    Share
    Omission of climate change research funding is unacceptable. Even if you don't believe it is caused by humanity, the evidence is conclusive that the environment is undergoing huge changes that need to be researched further so that solutions can be found and implemented.
    Like (355)
    Follow
    Share
    Climate change has to be inclusive and specifically listed.
    Like (313)
    Follow
    Share
    One key aspect of NASA's mission is the research of and guidance regarding our stewardship of THIS planet. While the rest of the bill seems adequate to allow NASA to accomplish other goals in the space program, climate change research is a glaring omission.
    Like (211)
    Follow
    Share
    Climate change should remain a focus area of NASA.
    Like (164)
    Follow
    Share
    Climate change MUST be included- I cannot support any legislation that so blatantly omits it.
    Like (139)
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    NASA has been a leader amongst those studying our climate. It would be indubitably foolhardy to pull their funding for climate research. If you truly hold your constituent's best interests, you can surely put aside personal differences and recognize the urgency of what is happening globally. Give NASA the means necessary to continue the research.
    Like (90)
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    Science and space exploration are critical. This funding is necessary and should be approved On a nonpartisan basis. The climate change issue is being addressed by multiple other agencies. It is very sad that we have to rely on the Russians to put our people in the Space Station. Approve this please.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    How many government agencies do we need to study climate change? NASA builds and places technology in space, other agencies take the data and analyze. IT'S NOT NASA'S JOB TO DO A THING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. The fact this has caused so much uproar is proof that using talking points in legislation distracts people who don't study the actual intent of the legislation. How many budgets and pieces of legislation have ballooned costs because they said " climate change" or "veterans" or "national parks" or "guns"? This bill properly funds NASA's purpose
    Like (61)
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    Climate change omission is unacceptable
    Like (37)
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    Yes, on the condition that this is revised to include funding for climate science.
    Like (36)
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    Without funding for climate studies, this bill cripples vital research from an experienced agency. Don't support an "almost good enough" bill.
    Like (29)
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    Climate research must be included.
    Like (28)
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    Climate study must be included in any NASA budget.
    Like (23)
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    NASA should have a 50 billion dollar budget!
    Like (21)
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    Without climate change included this bill is not adequate. Ignoring a problem that is real does not make it go away.
    Like (18)
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    Science is the future ... we need funding for NASA and climate change
    Like (13)
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    I grew up with NASA. Cheered the moon program, grew excited with the ISS and was devastated with shuttle failures and loss of life. But now, I'm seriously falling behind private space. Vertical landings, reusable rocket engines, successful payloads and most of all, not my tax money unless the US wants a new satellite launched for "whatever." NASA continue with higher funding for their programs. The new James Webb Space Telescope went grossly over budget and way behind its original schedule. I say we phase out NASA with their political view of climate change and allowing private space to move forward into space exploration while creating jobs and investment opportunities.
    Like (11)
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    Restore climate change funding. Earth first!
    Like (11)
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    Climate change should be included
    Like (10)
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