For the Trump administration, making America great again seems to have no limits, even within the confines of Earth. Plans could be in place soon to rekindle the space race in ways not seen since Kennedy. But this time it could be for military and mining capabilities.
Here’s more from USA Today:
A return to the moon is gaining traction. A trip to an asteroid looks iffy. And Mars is still the ultimate destination.
The space program did not get much attention in last year’s presidential race. But President Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” will likely include a refocus on — if not a return to — to the moon, which astronauts last visited in 1972.
Expect also more partnering with private firms on space activities and missions and a reduction in NASA’s role monitoring Earth’s rising temperatures and sea levels.
Here are six questions (and answers) about the space program under the Trump administration:
Who in the Trump administration will be deciding the direction of the nation’s space program?
The name most mentioned early on to head NASA has been Oklahoma GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a former naval aviator who sits on the Space Subcommittee of the Science, Space and Technology Committee and has been a champion for giving aerospace firms a greater role in the space program.
Mike Griffin, NASA administrator under George W. Bush, has reportedly interviewed for the job as well.
But Vice President Pence is expected to shape the administration’s larger vision of the space program. The former Indiana governor who grew up watching Americans land on the moon, is expected to chair the National Space Council. The administration is reviving the sometimes dormant panel that has advised presidents and coordinated space-related policies across agencies since it was first created more than 50 years ago.