The bill was approved by the House of Representatives on March 7th and passed the Senate on February 17th. It does still need to be signed off by the President.
The $19.5 Billion bill applies to NASA projects for the fiscal year of 2017. Per IFLscience, some of the highlights from the bill include support for NASA’s journey to Mars. It states that the agency should work towards the “long-term goal of human missions near or on the surface of Mars in the 2030s”. This refers to the idea that early missions to Mars could involve landing on its moon Phobos, before eventually heading to its surface.
Once President Trump appoints a NASA administrator (Robert Lightfoot is still the acting administrator), they will be asked to submit an assessment on whether or not a manned mission to Mars in 2033 is in the strategic interest of the United States.
The bill also suggest a robotic mission to Europa should continue to be supported and other programs such as the Commercial Crew Program (funding for SpaceX, Boeing and other companies).
There is no mention of any Earth science however, which President Trump has previously mentioned he wanted to strip away from NASA. I would assume this means Trump is more likely to sign the bill.
Sidenote: How awesome is Buzz Aldrin? Not only was his name “Buzz”, he was the second human to walk on the moon, served in Congress and punched out “we never went to the moon” conspiracy idiot Bart Sibrel, but he also went on TV wearing this shirt!
Feature Image courtesy of spacenews.com