If things on Earth don't appear to be looking that great, don't worry -- Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas wants to get Americans on Mars soon.
Congress has presented to President Donald Trump legislation, originally sponsored by Cruz, that asks NASA to develop "an initial human exploration roadmap" before Dec. 1, 2017 and actually get to Mars by 2033, reports Futurism.
"It is the sense of Congress that expanding human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and advancing toward human missions to Mars in the 2030s requires early strategic planning and timely decisions to be made in the near-term on the necessary courses of action for commitments to achieve short-term and long-term goals and objectives," the bill states.
Cruz's bill is highly detailed in what it hopes to accomplish in terms of getting a "human presence" on Mars in the near future.
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And in the senator's speech to the Senate regarding the bill, Cruz explained that an organized and followed-through pursuit towards Mars would have significant benefits for Americans.
"The last NASA reauthorization act to pass Congress was in 2010. And we have seen in the past the importance of stability and predictability in NASA and space exploration -- that whenever one has a change in administration, we have seen the chaos that can be caused by the cancelation of major programs," Cruz said, according to a transcript of his speech posted on his website. "Whether it was the cancelation of the Constellation program, whether it was the cancelation of the space shuttle, the impact in terms of jobs lost, the impact in terms of money wasted has been significant."
Cruz added: "NASA is at a crossroads, and this committee is acting, and I hope the full Congress will act, to ensure stability and predictability going forward."
Cruz said his NASA bill provides "much-needed certainty" to the missions of the International Space Station and Johnson Space Center, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
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"We are also making a serious commitment to the manned exploration of space, laying the groundwork for the Mars mission, and enabling commercial space ventures to flourish, all of which will foster extraordinary economic growth and job creation throughout Texas," he said.
NASA is a major employer in Texas, the state Cruz represents. And this is likely a major reason behind the senator's push for extra funding for the government agency.
"It’s a feather in his cap," said Bob Mitchell, president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, which helped Cruz write the legislation.