Total Solar Eclipse
Featured Series: Total Solar Eclipse
Aug. 21, 2017 will be America's best chance to see a total solar eclipse for the next seven years.

Trump Gives NASA The Go-Ahead To Get Humans To Mars

President Donald Trump authorized $19.5 billion in funding for NASA for fiscal year 2017.
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Trump Gives NASA The Go-Ahead To Get Humans To Mars

President Donald Trump signed a law that will let NASA focus on sending humans to Mars someday.

It's called the NASA Transition Authorization Act, and it gives the agency a $19.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1.

A good portion of the act focuses on sending a crewed mission to Mars in 2033. In fact, the red planet is mentioned dozens of times.

NASA is already working toward that goal.

It will use part of its budget to fund its Orion crew capsule and Space Launch System rocket. The end goal for those systems is sending astronauts to Mars.

But before it can do that, NASA plans to launch a crewed mission to an area near the moon in 2021.

The law also prioritizes robotic mission to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, and it encourages NASA to continue working with companies like Boeing and SpaceX to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

This law is separate from Trump's proposed budget unveiled last week.