The current omnibus spending bill before Congress would give the space agency $19.3 billion next year—an increase of more than $1.3 billion over 2015 funding levels and $700 million more than the White House had requested.
Now might be a good time to apply to be an astronaut.
Congress, of course, has some specific ideas about how the money should be spent. And as Fusion points out, one of the mandates is that NASA put a lander on Jupiter’s moon Europa, one of the leading candidates for harboring alien life.
It’s a tall order. But the push apparently comes from Republican Congressman John Culberson of Texas, who is an unabashed supporter of the Europa mission.
“I have always believed there is life on other worlds, and I have wanted to have a hand in helping to discover life on other worlds,” Culberson told Ars Technica.