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S 442, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 authorizes appropriations to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for FY2017 for:

  • Exploration;
  • Space operations;
  • Science;
  • Aeronautics;
  • Space technology;
  • Education;
  • Safety, security, and mission services;
  • Construction and environmental compliance and restoration; and
  • The NASA Inspector General.

The appropriations are described in 8 Titles within the law. Two Titles include appropriations for robotic technologies as follows:

  • TITLE IV - Advancing Human Deep Space Exploration includes a research and technology development program for enabling human and robotic operations.
  • TITLE V - Advancing Space Science expresses that a scientific, robotic exploration mission to Europa, as prioritized in the previous and current Planetary Science Decadal Surveys, should be supported by Congress, and NASA and the OSTP shall analyze requirements for radioisotope power system material that is needed to carry out planned, high priority robotic missions in the solar system and other surface exploration activities beyond low-Earth orbit.

The law also requires the development of a strategic plan to guide NASA information technology operations and an information security plan for cybersecurity (Title VIII).


S 442 was passed in the House on March 7, 2017 and signed into law by the President on March 21, 2017.