Trump Directive for Exploration –to the Moon, Mars, and “Other Places to Land.”
President Trump signed a directive on Monday that had widespread support among agencies like NASA. His directive re-focused American efforts on exploration – going back to the moon, to Mars, and beyond. The previous administration effectively sabotaged the US Space Program, leaving it in tatters.
The Hill noted in an op-ed by Mark Whittington:
The government’s response was formulated in secret. The results of these private deliberations were rolled out in the 2011 budget request that was released in February 2010. Project Constellation would be canceled, root and branch. Instead, NASA would conduct studies of heavy-lift rockets, deep-space propulsion, and other technologies that it was said, in the fullness of time, would make exploring space cheaper and easier.
Congress, which had not been consulted, reacted with bipartisan fury. The Obama administration made two critical errors. It had not consulted with Congress or anyone else when it developed its plans to kill Constellation. The White House also blatantly pulled a bureaucratic dodge that was apparent even to a first-term member of the House from the sticks. To kill a popular program, one studies it to death. Nowhere in the Obama plan was there a commitment to send astronauts anywhere. Clearly, the White House had no intention of doing space exploration. President Obama had expressed an antipathy to American exceptionalism, and nothing speaks to that quality than American astronauts exploring other worlds.
The President’s action on Monday received widespread support from numerous agencies and organizations.
“We support the president and vice president’s vision and commitment to return America to the moon.” Lockheed Martin
“NASA looks forward to supporting the president’s directive strategically aligning our work to return humans to the moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond.” acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot.
The problem with it is the same problem the space program has always had: money. Funding for NASA and related agencies may be difficult to obtain.