Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved the NASA Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4412) with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 401 - 2. The bill reaffirms Congress’s commitment to space exploration, both human and robotic, and makes clear that human spaceflight to Mars is NASA’s primary goal. The bill continues a fiscally responsible approach to human space exploration by requiring NASA to develop a strategic roadmap. Such a roadmap was highlighted as a key recommendation in the National Research Council’s recent report on U.S. human spaceflight.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “NASA has accomplished some of the most awe-inspiring and technologically advanced space initiatives in the history of humankind. The NASA Authorization Act of 2014 helps ensure that the United States will continue its proud tradition of being a world leader in space exploration. This bill expresses bipartisan support for investment in the future of America’s space endeavors and provides the resources and guidance to NASA to push humanity further into the cosmos. This bill is an example of how well Congress can work together to accomplish an objective that will benefit the entire nation.”

The NASA Authorization Act of 2014 continues the consistent guidance Congress has given to NASA for nearly a decade by reaffirming a stepping stone approach to exploration. It supports the development on the Space Launch System and the Orion Crew Vehicle to push the boundaries of human exploration, and focuses NASA’s efforts to develop a capability to access the International Space Station so that America can once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil.

Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.): “Our bill represents a serious bipartisan commitment to space exploration at a serious time in our nation’s history. American leadership in space depends on our ability to put people and sound policy ahead of politics. That is what we have tried to do with the House bill.  I urge our friends in the Senate to move forward with us by adopting our commonsense compromise and passing the House bill. Our nation’s space program needs this legislation.”

H.R. 4412 also supports a healthy science directorate that reflects the input from the scientific community and an aeronautics research directorate that contributes to our nation’s aerospace economy.