NASA received the sign-off Tuesday from President Donald Trump on a $19.5 billion budget bill.
The legislation also mandates that the US space agency pursue human exploration of Mars in the 2030s and specifically targets 2033 for a human spaceflight mission to the Red Planet.
The NASA Authorization Act of 2017 approved what will be the agency's largest-ever operating budget to focus on "core missions in space science, space technology, aeronautics, human space flight and exploration, and education." This comes as the Trump's administration has proposed massive cuts to other federal departments and agencies, including the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Elon Musk, CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, was not quite so high on the new legislation, tweeting soon after the signing that it "changes almost nothing about what NASA is doing" and that "perhaps there will be some future bill that makes a difference for Mars, but this is not it."
Musk has funneled a great deal of time and resources into his space-exploration company, SpaceX, with the stated goal of sending humans to Mars. His is just one of.
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