U.S. House passes Palazzo’s NASA bill by 401-2 vote, reaffirming commitment to space exploration

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the NASA Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4412) with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 401-2.

The bill reaffirms Congress’s commitment to space exploration, both human and robotic, and makes clear that human spaceflight to Mars is NASA’s primary goal.

The bill continues a fiscally responsible approach to human space exploration by requiring NASA to develop a strategic roadmap. Such a roadmap was highlighted as a key recommendation in the National Research Council’s recent report on U.S. human spaceflight.

“Our bill represents a serious bipartisan commitment to space exploration at a serious time in our nation’s history,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi, chairman of the space subcommittee. “American leadership in space depends on our ability to put people and sound policy ahead of politics.

“That is what we have tried to do with the House bill. I urge our friends in the Senate to move forward with us by adopting our commonsense compromise and passing the House bill. Our nation’s space program needs this legislation.”

The NASA Authorization Act of 2014 continues the consistent guidance Congress has given to NASA for nearly a decade by reaffirming a stepping stone approach to exploration. It supports the development on the Space Launch System and the Orion Crew Vehicle to push the boundaries of human exploration, and focuses NASA’s efforts to develop a capability to access the International Space Station so that America can once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil.