Returning to the moon is a personal issue for Posey — he worked on the Apollo program at the Kennedy Space Center, and was laid off by NASA when that program ended. The last moon landing was made by the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, 40 years ago last December.

"In order to explore deeper into space — to Mars and beyond — a moon presence offers us the ability to develop and test technologies to cope with the realities of operating on an extraterrestrial surface," Posey said Wednesday.

Posey added that so far, a dozen Americans have explored a section of the moon smaller than the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He said there are still minerals, ice deposits and other national resources that could be used to sustain an outpost.

ADVERTISEMENT
Posey introduced a similar bill in the last Congress, which said the goal of the moon base would be to "promote exploration, commerce, science, and United States preeminence in space as a stepping stone for the future exploration of Mars and other destinations."

While technology was seen as a major hurdle to the first moon landing in 1969, money is likely to be a major hurdle to any return trip. In the 1960s, NASA's budget was a much larger percentage of the federal budget than it is today.

And in terms of real purchasing power, NASA's budget is a little more than half of the budget levels in the 1960s when NASA was preparing to land on the moon.

NASA's budgets have hovered around $17 billion or $18 billion for the last few years. During a time of intense budgetary pressures, it's not clear that Congress could find the money to put NASA on a path to another moon shot, let alone creating a permanent moon base.

Posey's bill from the 112th Congress said NASA's budget would have to be "consistent" with achieving the goal of another moon landing, but did not propose specific numbers.

This year, Posey's bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Robert AderholtRobert AderholtPublic needs to know more about International Agency for Research on Cancer Chaffetz investigating taxpayers funding for flawed cancer agency GOP struggles to find women to lead House committees MORE (R-Ala.), Rob BishopRob BishopHouse passes National Park Service centennial bill House GOP picks two women to lead committees Trump's Interior candidates would play Russian roulette with West MORE (R-Utah), John Culberson (R-Texas), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson-LeeThe right person for State Department is Rudy Giuliani Overnight Regulation: House passes GOP bill targeting last-minute Obama regs House passes bill targeting ‘midnight’ Obama regs MORE (D-Texas), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Ted PoeTed PoeOvernight Cybersecurity: Lawmakers pushing for vote to delay warrant rule changes Coons to call for voice vote to halt changes to hacking rule The right person for State Department is Rudy Giuliani MORE (R-Texas), Steve StockmanSteve StockmanCruz will skip State of the Union Ethics: Lawmakers didn’t ‘knowingly’ break rules with Azerbaijan gifts Lawmakers deny knowledge of secret funding for 2013 trip MORE (R-Texas) and Frank WolfFrank WolfBottom Line 10 most expensive House races Benghazi Report and Hillary: What it means for Philadelphia MORE (R-Va.).

— This story was updated at 9:32 a.m.