NASA received the green from the U.S. Senate and the House of Congress to bring humans to Mars by 2033 thanks to it’s new budget.
The bill, NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 (S.442), was approved on March in the House of Representatives with no members against it, weeks after the legislation passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 17.
The bill allocates $19.5 billion in spending for NASA in fiscal year 2017. The legislation instructs the space agency to look into a “Mars human spaceflight mission to be launched in 2033.”
The bill also encourages NASA to keep working on its Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule and supports NASA’s planned new Mars rover, which will search for signs of life on Mars after an expected 2020 launch. It also requires NASA to support the robotic exploration of Jupiter’s moon Europa and a strategy for NASA’s study of extrasolar planets, indicating particular interest in the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be able to look for signs of life on other worlds.
The bill will now have to be signed by President Donald Trump, but it seems likely. Trump has previously praised NASA and has voiced support for space exploration. In his inauguration address, Trump said he was “ready to unlock the mysteries of space.”