US Congress Mandates Manned Mars Mission within 25 Years
Ashley Allen / 4 years ago
US Congress has passed a new bill that will see a manned Mars mission launched within the next quarter-of-a-century. The bipartisan bill grants NASA $19.5 billion in funding for the exploration of the Red Planet and mandates that the proposed manned mission must happen within the next 25 years. Also granted in the bill is the protection of the space program from any meddling from future US Presidents during that period.
The Bill – S.3346 – reads:
“In order to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the long-term exploration and utilization activities of the United States, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps, including engaging international academic, and industry partners to ensure the activities in the Administration’s human exploration program balance how those activities might also help meet the requirement of future exploration and utilization activities leading to human habitation on the surface of Mars.”
The bill provides for the continued development of the Space Launch System – the current method of launching space shuttles – and the Orion deep-space program, investment in the International Space Station until at least 2024, development of a new Mars-appropriate spacesuit, and the manned Mars Mission by 2039.
Congress’ move to protect the space program from being upheaved by any US President is thought to be a reaction against President Obama’s abolition of the Constellation Program, a relic of the Bush administration which aimed to send man back to the Moon.