For the first time in more than six years, Congress has passed an authorization act for NASA that calls for spending $19.5 billion on NASA for fiscal year 2017 and lays out a set of priorities of the agency.
The measure was approved by the House this week after getting Senate approval. The vote came five months into fiscal year 2017.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is dedicated to pushing the technological envelope, taking on challenges not only to further space agency missions near Earth, but also to sustain future deep space exploration activities.
“In 2016, we completed several major program milestones,” explains Steve Jurczyk, NASA associate administrator for STMD.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission continues to move forward with concept and technology development despite a general lack of political support from Congress.
ARRM’s objective is to remove a large boulder from an asteroid and return it to lunar orbit where it will be examined by astronauts. The program is working toward a December 2020 launch date the Government Accountability Office says could be difficult to meet.