Nasa bill aims to send peo­ple to Mars

New Straits Times - - World -

WASH­ING­TON: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has signed into law a bill that adds ex­plo­ration of Mars as a National Aero­nau­tics and Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Nasa) goal.

The new law also au­tho­rises US$19.5 bil­lion (RM86.3 bil­lion) in space agency fund­ing for the 2018 bud­get year, which starts on Oct 1.

Trump re­cently sent Con­gress a bud­get pro­posal that au­tho­rises US$19.1 bil­lion for the space agency next year, down slightly from the cur­rent year.

The new law amends cur­rent law to add hu­man ex­plo­ration of Mars as one of Nasa’s ob­jec­tives. It also di­rects the agency to man­age hu­man space flight pro­grammes to help hu­mans to ex­plore Mars and other des­ti­na­tions.

Trump signed the bill on Tues­day in the Oval Of­fice sur­rounded by as­tro­nauts and bill spon­sors, in­clud­ing Sen­a­tors Ted Cruz and Marco Ru­bio.

Both sen­a­tors chal­lenged Trump dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. AP

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