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The House Friday overwhelmingly endorsed
President Bush's vision to send man back to the moon and eventually on to Mars as it passed a bill to set NASA policy for the next two years.
The bill passed 383-15 after a collegial debate in which lawmakers stressed their commitment to not just Bush's ambitious space exploration plans but also to traditional NASA programs such as science and aeronautics.
There is some tension between Congress and the White House over the balance between Bush's vision for space exploration and other NASA initiatives. Originally, the measure would have shifted $1.3 billion in funds from exploration to other NASA programs. But after administration objections lawmakers added the money back to the budget for exploration during floor debate. That was done by adding to the bill's bottom line — now at $34.7 billion — not at the expense of science and aeronautics.