Washington, D.C. – President Trump signed a law Tuesday authorizing funds for a crewed NASA mission to Mars.
The bill adds a manned mission to the red planet as a key objective for the space agency and allows for test human space flights tests that will enable more missions to deep space.
President Trump allocated $19.1 billion for NASA in his budget, which is an improvement over the past ten years when the agency saw the end of the space shuttle program.
While getting to Mars likely won’t happen during the Trump administration, NASA says they should be able to get there in the 2030s.
In the short term, NASA plans to further test the Orion spacecraft along with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
Further plans for the space agency include redirecting a small asteroid to orbit the moon, with the ultimate goal of visiting the boulder.
President Trump tweeted that he was honored to sign the law, and he supports “NASA’s scientists, engineers, and astronauts in their pursuit of discovery!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2017