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Proposed Bill Would Require NASA to Develop Long-Range Human Spaceflight Strategy

Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. John Culberson, both Republicans from Texas, have introduced a bill that would require NASA to craft a strategic plan for human space exploration missions.

Cornyn’s office said Tuesday the Mapping a New and Innovative Focus on our Exploration Strategy for Human Spaceflight Act seeks to designate astronaut landing on Mars as NASA’s long-term exploration goal.

“By requiring a strategic plan from NASA, this bill will help focus existing resources towards achieving our long-term goal of landing a human on Mars,” said Cornyn.

The legislation would also mandate the space agency to update its exploration strategy every five years and work with the National Academy of Sciences to develop the final strategy.

Both Cornyn and Culberson authored the bill based on recommendations from the “Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration” report the National Academies’ Committee on Human Spaceflight published in 2014.

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