NASA plans to colonize Mars and the space agency has just received the official funds to make these plans into a reality.
After speculations and doubts, it seems that Republican and Democratic senators have agreed on one thing: We have to go to Mars.
Both Republican and Democratic senators agree that traveling to Mars is of great importance as government officials have given the green light after passing a bipartisan bill which will give NASA a staggering $19.5 billion to continue working on their mission to Mars.
In addition, to helping NASA pave their way to Mars, the newly passed bill will also include support for the continuous work on the program to send astronauts on private rockets to the International Space Station from American soil.
According to USA Today, the Senate also views this solid bill as a way to block the incoming US president from up heaving the nation’s space program.
According to Republican Senator Ted Cruz, lead sponsor of the bill: “We have seen in the past the importance of stability and predictability in NASA and space exploration – that whenever one has a change in administration, we have seen the chaos that can be caused by the cancellation of major programs. The impact regarding jobs lost, the impact in terms of money wasted has been significant.”
While the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2016 needs to be passed by the Senate as a whole, it includes an authorization worth a staggering $19.508 billion for the fiscal year 2017. The official document can be viewed here.
But the Senate isn’t giving off money for the sake of it so NASA can go around exploring. In fact, the bill is considered as a challenge which will require NASA to make an ODDICIAL mission to send astronauts to the surface of the red planet within the next 25 years.
A big step forward according to many.
The bill is divided into different components. $4.5 billion are set for exploration, around $5 billion for space operations, and around $5.4 billion for science.
Speaking about the bill and space exploration, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a senior Democrat on the Commerce panel, said: “Fifty-five years after President Kennedy challenged the nation to put a man on the moon, the Senate is challenging NASA to put humans on Mars. The priorities that we’ve laid out for NASA in this bill mark the beginning of a new era of American spaceflight.”
Among the many things Republican and Democratic senators disagree on, it seems that space exploration and Mars are some of the things they have managed to agree on, justifying the $19.5 billion as a way of safeguarding America’s space programs during an era where other countries like China, Russia among other have major plans for the Moon, Asteroid mining, and Mars.
The bill was passed after Elon Musk, the mastermind behind SpaceX and Tesla motors said that interplanetary travel and deep space travel will be two of the main goals of SpaceX.
According to Mr. Musk, the transportation system that at first was created to take humans and materials to Mars has a far greater potential and could help our civilization become a spacefaring civilization by taking astronauts into deep space.