CHIPS Act includes 1st NASA authorization bill in 5 years, extends ISS to 2030

NASA authorization bill gives the agency a direction

The International Space Station. (Image: NASA/Redwire) (NASA 2021)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Congress on Thursday passed the CHIPS Act and sent it to President Joe Biden for his signature.

The act boosts the semiconductor inductor industry and scientific research with the goal of increasing the production of computer chips in the United States and helping to ease supply chain issues.

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But tucked in the bill is something for Florida’s space industry as well — a new NASA authorization bill.

The authorization bill is the first for NASA since 2017. It gives the space agency direction and directives from congress, which helps with oversight of the agency.

Among the provisions in the NASA authorization bill:

  • Formally extending the life of the International Space Station to 2030. Congress had previously authorized the ISS through 2024. This has been a longstanding priority for lawmakers focused on the space program.
  • Establishing a Moon to Mars Office and program to implement missions for the Artemis program and other deep space exploration initiatives.
  • Require NASA to pursue certain research and science goals, including the search for life in the universe and continuing Earth science research related to climate.
  • Continuing forward with the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.
  • Implement a near-Earth object survey to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said this authorization bill was important in supporting a new era of space exploration “that will last decades.”

“This act shows continued bipartisan support of NASA’s many missions, including our Moon to Mars approach, as well extension of U.S. participation in the International Space Station to 2030,” Nelson said.

View the text of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 on the U.S. Senate website.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.