NASA Transition Authorization Act - S.442

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"A bill to authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes."
Primary sponsors: 
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Latest major action: 
President signed S.442 into law, March 21, 2017
Summary of provisions
  • Authorizes directorate-level funding roughly in-line with appropriators' proposals for fiscal year 2017.
  • Expresses support for the James Webb Space Telescope, Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, Mars 2020 Rover, and Europa Clipper missions
  • Establishes the search for life beyond the Earth as one of NASA's central agency objectives and directs NASA to commission a new astrobiology strategy as well as an exoplanet science strategy
  • Requires a study of the value of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission
  • Directs NASA to seek reimbursement for instrumentation and measurements that NASA conducts when responsibilities for them are transferred from other agencies
  • Changes cadence of senior reviews for mission extensions to a three-year schedule
Actions on the Senate bill: 
President signed bill into law
March 21, 2017
House passed bill by voice vote
March 7, 2017
Senate passed bill by unanimous consent
Feb. 17, 2017
Bill introduced
Feb. 17, 2017