House approves NASA authorization bill - Space Politics - Here are a couple excerpts from the bill:
SEC. 703. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON EARTHKAM AND ROBOTICS COMPETITIONS.
It is the sense of Congress that NASA's educational programs are important sources of inspiration and hands-on learning for the next generation of engineers and scientists and should be supported. In that regard, programs such as EarthKAM, which brings NASA directly into American classrooms by enabling students to talk directly with astronauts aboard the International Space Station and to take photographs of Earth from space, and NASA involvement in robotics competitions for students of all levels, are particularly worthy undertakings and NASA should support them and look for additional opportunities to engage students through NASA's space and aeronautics activities.
SEC. 1105. INNOVATION PRIZES.
(a) In General- Prizes can play a useful role in encouraging innovation in the development of technologies and products that can assist NASA in its aeronautics and space activities, and the use of such prizes by NASA should be encouraged.
(b) Amendments- Section 314 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 is amended--
(1) by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
`(b) Topics- In selecting topics for prize competitions, the Administrator shall consult widely both within and outside the Federal Government, and may empanel advisory committees. The Administrator shall give consideration to prize goals such as the demonstration of the ability to provide energy to the lunar surface from space-based solar power systems, demonstration of innovative near-Earth object survey and deflection strategies, and innovative approaches to improving the safety and efficiency of aviation systems.'; and
(2) in subsection (i)(4) by striking `$10,000,000' and inserting `$50,000,000'.