President Barack Obama signed the NASA authorization bill on Monday, a federal national holiday that honors the achievements of Christopher Columbus. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden released the follow statement:
â€œEarlier today, President Obama signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010. It is important bipartisan legislation that charts a new course for space exploration, science, technology development, and aeronautics. We are grateful for the President’s forward-thinking plan and the hard work members of Congress put into this framework that will guide us for the coming three years.
â€œThis legislation supports the presidentâ€™s ambitious plan for NASA to pioneer new frontiers of innovation and discovery. With this direction, we will extend operations on the International Space Station through at least 2020.
â€œWe will foster a growing commercial space transportation industry that will allow NASA to focus our efforts on executing direction in the act to start work on a heavy-lift architecture to take astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit and to develop a multipurpose crew vehicle for use with our new space launch systems.
â€œAlso, we will continue to invest in green aviation and other technologies that make air travel safer and more efficient.
â€œIn collaboration with our international partners, industry, and academia, we will build and launch observatories and robotic missions to explore our solar system and peer through new windows into our amazing universe, as well as help us better understand our own home planet with a robust plus-up in our Earth Science program. Our education programs will build on all of this to inspire future generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers.
â€œWe have been given a new path in space that will enable our country to develop greater capabilities, transforming the state of the art in aerospace technologies. We will continue to maintain and expand vital partnerships around the world. It will help us retool for the industries and jobs of the future that will be vital for long-term economic growth and national security.
â€œOur workers have been steadfast in their dedication to safety and success through this time of transition, and we salute their hard work and continued professional excellence. They will continue to be our most vital resource as we implement these plans.
â€œAs the 2011 appropriations process moves forward, there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us in collaboration with the Congress. We are committed to work together with the continued wide public support for NASA, and the bipartisan backing of Congress. Todayâ€™s vote of confidence from the president ensures America’s space program will remain at the forefront of a bright future for our nation.â€