March 8, 2017 (Windy Hill Beach, South Carolina) — During floor debate preceding the House’s passage of the FY2017 NASA Authorization ($19.5 billion) yesterday, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-07) made the following comments about a manned mission to Mars:
I rise today in support of S. 442, the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017… I am very passionate about getting our astronauts to the surface of Mars. This bill will require detailed plans from NASA on how to do that and, more importantly, on the timelines so that we can get to Mars through the development of a human exploration roadmap. In addition to this roadmap, section 435 of the bill also requires NASA to report back on the feasibility of a human mission to that planet by the year 2033. Sixteen years from now, Earth and Mars will be aligned for what could be the most significant and inspirational journey in history. About 18 months ago, our committee heard testimony from former NASA leadership about our deep space exploration missions. I asked them to provide us a date: When can we get to Mars? As it turns out, the planets’ orbit and alignment in 2033 is optimal. So as my colleagues on the committee know, I have prepared a bumper sticker, Mr. Speaker, just for you, showing 2033 as the time we are going to get our astronauts to Mars.