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First NASA Authorization in Five Years Included in CHIPS and Science Act

First NASA Authorization in Five Years Included in CHIPS and Science Act

The recently passed CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 includes Congress’ first NASA authorization in five years. Title VII of the CHIPS Act, named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, includes funding for NASA activities in exploration, science, aeronautics, space technology, and STEM engagement. The Act also extends U.S. engagement on the International Space Station through 2030 to further advance U.S. leadership against competitors like China in space. 

Specifically, Title VII authorizes funding for NASA R&D projects, including the Moon to Mars Program that will advance human exploration of Mars in upcoming Artemis missions. The Act empowers the NASA Administrator to establish a Moon to Mars Office and to appoint a Moon to Mars Director to oversee the program. Additionally, the authorization will require NASA to engage in R&D on the use of space nuclear propulsion in robotic and human exploration activities in future missions to Mars.
 
The authorization also includes funding for aeronautic R&D projects. These include experimental aircraft projects to ensure U.S. competitive leadership in aeronautics as well as making expansion of flight research and capabilities a main objective of the agency’s aeronautic research. Other projects that have been included in the authorization are R&D of unmanned aircraft system integration into the national airspace and research on cleaner and quieter airplanes.
 
STEM engagement is another priority of the authorization, as NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement has been empowered to coordinate STEM educational activities to encourage the workforce of tomorrow. This engagement includes additional funding for research grants and university fellowships.
 
The inclusion of this authorization in the CHIPS Act displays a reinvigorated, bipartisan commitment to NASA’s projects on Capitol Hill. Regarding this, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated: “With strong support from the Biden-Harris Administration as well as this authorization, NASA will continue to advance scientific discoveries, enable sustainable aviation, address climate change, and much more.”
 
Read a Section-by-Section summary of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 here.
 
Read the entire CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 here.
 

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