Cruz was joined by three other senators in introducing the NASA Authorization Act of 2019: the subcommittee’s ranking member, Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), as well as Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who are chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, respectively. The new legislation follows the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which Cruz also led and which President Trump signed into law in March 2017. However, almost immediately after that bill became a law, Cruz characterized it as an interim measure to steady NASA through the presidential transition. The new bill is intended as a more expansive view of space policy, and it encompasses the Trump administration’s Artemis Program to land humans on the Moon.
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A bipartisan group of senators has filed a new bill that sets out space policy for NASA over the coming decade. “The new authorizing legislation is largely consistent with much of NASA’s present activities, but it differs from White House policy in some key respects,” reports Ars Technica. “Most notably, the legislation calls for NASA to support the International Space Station through 2030.” From the report: The Trump administration has sought to commercialize space stations in low Earth orbit by 2025, perhaps by becoming a customer on a privately operated International Space Station or by supporting the development of smaller, private labs. “By extending the ISS through 2030, this legislation will help grow our already burgeoning space economy, fortifying the United States’ leadership in space, increasing American competitiveness around the world, and creating more jobs and opportunity here at home,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who chairs a subcommittee on space and aviation, in a news release.