The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today approved five bills, including the NASA Transition Authorization Act which advances deep space exploration, the journey to Mars and the International Space Station for fiscal year 2017. 

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), committee chairman, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), committee ranking member, offered the following statements on the NASA Transition Authorization Act approval:

“Today, bills and amendments approved on a bipartisan basis offer the opportunity for continuity in space exploration efforts, fairness for consumers in the event ticket market, and increased accountability for political appointees at the Department of Commerce following a report highlighting egregious abuse,” said Thune. “I appreciate the efforts of Sen. Nelson and all the committee members in completing this markup sending important bills closer to consideration on the Senate floor.”

“I want to thank Chairman Thune and the members of the committee for their continued support of our nation’s space program,” said Nelson. “Last week marked the 55th anniversary of President Kennedy’s challenge to send a man to the Moon by the end of the decade.  The NASA bill we passed today keeps us moving toward a new and even more ambitious goal – sending humans to Mars.”

Bills are approved by voice vote unless noted:


1. S. 3346, NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2016, Sponsors: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

2. S. 3183, Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, Sponsors: Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

3. S. 3097, SelectUSA Authorization Act of 2016, Sponsors: Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.)

4. H.R. 4755, Inspiring Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, Sponsors: Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) and nine other representatives

5. H.R. 4742, Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, Sponsors: Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and 10 other representatives