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U.S. Congress passes NASA authorization bill

NASA logo. Credit: NASA

Edinburgh / Washington, 1 August 2022. – Congress has passed a NASA authorization bill, the first in five years, extending the operational life of the International Space Station (ISS) up until 2030 while also backing the agency’s Artemis program.

The passing of the bill signals that Congress pioritizes the advancement of NASA’s technology, infrastructure, and workforce. It authorizes key programs including sustainable x-plane demonstrators, space nuclear systems, and other science missions as well.

The NASA Authorization Act of 2022 is part of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022. The House passed the (CHIPS) and Science Act on a 243–187 vote a day after the Senate passed the bill on a 64–33 vote.

The bill primarily supports the domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, however, it also includes the NASA authorization legislation. Other than extending the operational life of the ISS from 2024 to 2030, it also authorizes a “Moon to Mars Program”. The latter comprises the Artemis lunar missions and future human missions to Mars.

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