President Trump on Tuesday signed a bill authorizing funding for NASA while setting a new goal to send humans to Mars.
The president signed the bill in the Oval Office flanked by authors and sponsors of the bill, including Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGermany calls on Congress not to sanction Nord Stream 2 pipeline: report Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' Biden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Rubio: Dropping FARC from terrorist list threatens Colombians, US security This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (R-Fla.)
The law, known as the NASA Transition Authorization Act, gives the space agency $19.5 billion in funding for fiscal year 2018. It also asks the agency to create a plan to send a “crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s.”
Lawmakers also require NASA to create ways to "extend human presence, including potential human habitation on another celestial body and a thriving space economy in the 21st Century.”
NASA is receiving slightly more money than Trump requested in his 2018 budget blueprint. It included $19.1 billion for the agency, which would have been a modest funding cut.