The House passed Friday a $44 billion, three-year spending authorization bill for NASA that includes President Bush's proposal to place a settlement on the moon and begin work on a manned expedition to Mars.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration bill includes no money for the Moon and Mars program in the next fiscal year but would spend $444 million to begin it in fiscal 1992 and $649 million in fiscal 1993.The bill won approval on a voice vote after a brief debate. It goes to a conference committee to work out differences with the Senate.
The bill provides a three-year spending authorization to enable NASA to make longer-range plans including space shuttle missions, space exploration and development of expendable launch vehicles and an experimental high-speed aerospace plane.
The House passed a multi-year authorization last year, but the Senate never took action.
President Bush proposed last year that NASA establish a permanent settlement on the Moon and begin a 30-year project to send a manned expedition to Mars by the year 2019. The bill authorizes the Bush administration's request for the project's start.