One of the more forgotten egregious acts of the Obama administration is the belittling of NASA. NASA’s lack of a solid mission for years, Obama’s priority of using it for Muslim outreach as opposed to actually improving space exploration, the ending of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, and budget cuts by the Obama administration, have caused Americans to lose interest in the space exploration program. Many have all but forgotten that NASA even exists.
However, NASA will now have its rightful comeback. A bipartisan bill to secure and stabilize the future of the US space program has passed both houses of Congress and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump. The bill is entitled S. 442, otherwise known as The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Transition Authorization Act of 2017.
The bill was originally introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Patty Murray (D-WA), and John Cornyn (R-TX). The House chairmen with committees of jurisdiction for the bill are Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), chairman of the House Space Subcommittee, and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill stabilizes NASA and helps it to sustain and advance space exploration and science with a $19 billion budget for 2017. Cruz, who led the effort in the Senate, put out a press release today, explaining the bill’s intent in further detail.
Along with NASA’s new budget, the bill includes the call for developing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion space capsule, with the goal of missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond. There will also be more medical monitoring for astronauts. In addition, there will also be new investments in the International Space Station (ISS), which would allow the station to continue to be utilized until 2024 and would make it a starting point for Mars missions. NASA also plans to study Europa, Jupiter’s moon thought to have water and possibly able to sustain life for many years, and a possible mission to Europa as well.
There is no telling what this will do for American engineers and scientists. Aside from the obvious benefits of space exploration and discovery, this bill will potentially provide many jobs to astronomers and engineers who may have been out of work due to NASA’s fall into oblivion over the last decade. The job market now will be much larger for science majors coming out of college or graduate school as well. The legislation will also help facilitate private space exploration, which would do wonders for innovation, entrepreneurship and the economy at large.
The end of Cruz’s press release states that the legislation will help ensure America continues to lead the way in space exploration. Now, it is up to President Trump to make America great again by signing this bill and helping the United States find its rightful place as the greatest country in the world.