51 U.S. Code Section 70504 - Stepping stone approach to exploration

(a) In General.—The Administration—

(1) may conduct missions to intermediate destinations in sustainable steps in accordance with section 20302(b) of this title, and on a timetable determined by the availability of funding, in order to achieve the objective of human exploration of Mars specified in section 202(b)(5) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 18312(b)(5)); and

(2) shall incorporate any such missions into the human exploration roadmap under section 432 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017.

(b) Cost-effectiveness.—In order to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the long-term space exploration and utilization activities of the United States, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps, including engaging international, academic, and industry partners, to ensure that activities in the Administration's human space exploration program balance how those activities might also help meet the requirements of future exploration and utilization activities leading to human habitation on the surface of Mars.

(c) Completion.—Within budgetary considerations, once an exploration-related project enters its development phase, the Administrator shall seek, to the maximum extent practicable, to complete that project without undue delays.

(d) International Participation.—In order to achieve the goal of successfully conducting a crewed mission to the surface of Mars, the President may invite the United States partners in the ISS program and other nations, as appropriate, to participate in an international initiative under the leadership of the United States.

Annotations
Citation
51 U.S.C. § 70504 (2021)
Miscellaneous
Historical and Revision Notes
Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
70504 42 U.S.C. 17731. Pub. L. 110–422, title IV, §403, Oct. 15, 2008, 122 Stat. 4789.
References
References in Text

Section 432 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is section 432 of Pub. L. 115–10, which is set out in a note under section 20302 of this title.

Amendments

2017—Pub. L. 115–10 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In order to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the long-term exploration and utilization activities of the United States, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps, including engaging international partners, to ensure that activities in its lunar exploration program shall be designed and implemented in a manner that gives strong consideration to how those activities might also help meet the requirements of future exploration and utilization activities beyond the Moon. The timetable of the lunar phase of the long-term international exploration initiative shall be determined by the availability of funding. However, once an exploration-related project enters its development phase, the Administrator shall seek, to the maximum extent practicable, to complete that project without undue delays."

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