Cruz, Nelson Champion American Leadership and Exploration in Space

Senators praise passage of the bipartisan Cruz-Nelson NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017

February 17, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed S. 442, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which was introduced by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas). The legislation provides stability for NASA to sustain and build upon existing national space investments designed to advance space exploration and science with an overall authorization level of $19.508 billion for fiscal year 2017.

“America has a long history of leading the way in space exploration, which has also fostered extraordinary economic growth and job creation of the State of Texas and the entire nation,” said Sen. Cruz, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. “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 bill directs NASA to send humans to Mars, expand commercial space activity and ensures that work will continue on the next generation of rockets, engines and capsules that are currently being constructed in Florida and across the country,” said Sen. Nelson, ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

“A steady course for NASA with support from Congress gives the agency a foundation to maximize its exploration mission and pursue our natural human curiosity of the universe. This consensus legislation bolsters both NASA’s core capabilities and cooperation with the commercial sector to advance new frontiers of discovery,” said Sen. Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

“The discoveries and innovations pioneered by NASA not only inspire future generations of scientists and explorers, they help further our scientific knowledge and grow our economy,” said Sen. Peters, ranking member of the Subcommitee on Space, Science, and Competitivness. “I’m pleased the Senate approved this bipartisan legislation that will support the agency’s core missions in education, training, research and exploration, and keep the Orion and Space Launch System programs on track to continue their progress toward crewed Mars exploration missions. I thank my colleagues for coming together to ensure NASA can continue to lead the way in cutting-edge research and innovation that will carry us to the next frontier of space exploration.”

Full text of the bill may be viewed here.