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House passes NASA authorization bill
Posted: Sat, Jul 23, 2005, 11:11 AM ET (1511 GMT)
US Capitol The US House of Representatives passed a NASA authorization bill Friday that formally endorsed the agency's Vision for Space Exploration. The House passed the bill, HR 3070, by a margin of 383-15 after a morning of floor debate on the bill. The bill puts the House's seal of approval on NASA's exploration plans, including returning humans to the Moon by 2020. Also included in the bill are provisions endorsing a shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, giving NASA new authority to grant prizes, and encouraging NASA to start flights of the Crew Exploration Vehicle as soon as possible after the shuttle is retired in 2010. The bill also authorizes funding levels for NASA for the next two fiscal years, although itself does not appropriate any money. The Senate has yet to vote on its version of the bill, although the Senate Commerce Committee approved the bill last month. Once passed by the Senate, its version will have to be reconciled in conference with the House version, most likely some time this fall. Congress has not passed an authorization bill for NASA in five years.
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