Will Trump Refocus NASA on the Moon?

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)
Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

After a meeting with president Donald Trump on Wednesday, historian Douglas Brinkley told reporters the president elect “was very interested in a man going to the moon and the moon shot so we were talking a little bit about that.”

This could mean that Trump will refocus NASA’s deep space exploration on the moon rather than Mars. On the other hand, it might mean nothing.

Some observers have noted that Trump’s position on issues often reflects what he discussed with the last person he talks to. Brinkley is from Rice University in Houston, a city that is home of NASA’s Mission Control.

Trump also has a habit of disavowing things he has said, even if the tweeted it for anyone to see or said it on television with millions of people watching.

So, it’s possible that at some point in the near future, Trump will say he never said anything about sending astronauts to the moon, accuse Brinkley and the journalists who quoted him of lying, and threaten the launch the whole lot of them into the sun.

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  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I’ll go out on a limb. SLS will be shut down and NASA will be ordered to enter into a joint program with Russia to build a superbooster. With the majority of the work to be done in Russia at what will be touted as vast discount. Development time will be 10 years. And … It will be FANTASTIC! Because Putin is such a great leader, it will get done this time. 🙂

  • If we have a program to land on the Sun, we had better go when it’s nighttime or it’ll be too hot.

    I personally thought that regardless of party, the next president would go for a Moon program. Between booster and capsule development at NASA and the contractors, and the interest of the international players, it seemed like a no brained. It’s “different” and then can chart a “bold new course for humanity” and either praise or disparage the previous administration depending on mood.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    If people making decisions actually wanted to push out and establish a presence, I see your point. However given the past 40+ years and the fact that yet again, we’re talking about changing ‘The Destination’, I think it might be yet another decade in the notch of the argument that the real policy is not to have a policy. I think space is a political and economic diversion away from what most nations really want. Name any powerful political constituency in the world and they’re going ‘lose’ place if the ongoing human narrative has the complication of pioneer humans out pushing the limits to new, and quite frankly exciting, worlds.

  • therealdmt

    I’d like to see the focus on fully commercializing low earth orbit, with commercial boosters, commercial unmanned cargo carriers, commercial manned capsules and spaceplanes, commercial space stations (probably a mix of temporary, man-tended and permanently manned), commercial space tugs, etc., with NASA focused on being an enabler (seed founder, contract awarded, customer, supervisor, technology developer, etc.). NASA, in this vision, would also start simultaneously laying the groundwork for a return to the moon, this time with the incorporation of a substantial public-private partnerships-based approach. “Lunar COTS”, as it were, with an eye towards the eventual development of a cislunar economy.

    I think that in some ways, this is kind of happening already, just in a very unfocused manner. Officially, we’re on ‘The Journey to Mars’ and NASA’s biggest development program is SLS/Orion. The payoff for Mars is quite far away though, probably too far away politically. As currently planned, a Mars flyby or orbital mission (forget about landing) would be beyond even a 2nd term for a president, and even a[n unlikely] 2nd term for a president’s chosen successor!

  • Snofru Chufu

    Mr. Messier: This article is recompilation of an entry (incl. some comments) which can be found in “behindtheblack”-blog and displays more your personal opposite attitude towards Trump, but presented in quite stupid way.

  • Saturn13

    Trump may resign. H e has been taking money from a charity he has been running for a long time, according to the Washington Post. He has not put any money in the charity for 4 years. A pro wrestling person has, which he has appointed to a cabinet post. He has settled lawsuits and used money from the charity to pay. He used $25,000 of the charity money for 2 portraits of himself instead of the money going to needy people were it usually goes. If he is not charged, I wonder if the charges against a Democrat congress woman from Fl. will be dropped that did the same thing? May not have to worry about what he wants to do in Space. The money may have been used to settle cases from Trump U. where people paid fees and Trump did not teach them to make money in real estate or from his bankrupt companies. He seems to be a crook, but people must love it, since they voted for him. He even admitted he took the money since the IRS has a check off to say if you are giving money to yourself from your charity. It may be The VP and Speaker to head our government. No telling what their space policy would be.

  • Snofru Chufu

    Oh man, leftist will never give up attacking Trump by all (thinkable and also at most invented) measures. Face the reality now (!): Trump is going to be your President at 20.Januar, which is good thing for USA and whole world.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Take a look at snofru’s statement. Right wingers like right wing crooks because to them it’s a measure of power of “the great man”. They crave ‘great men’ to lead them and vanquish the people they don’t like. The hypocrisy you point out only gives them glee because they consider it to be yet another indication of the special powers of their great leader. Look at how they hold Russia up as a great country that’s well run. They’ll say its because it’s a country where capitalism can run free. Yet Russia has dammed little real private enterprise, it’s filled with state run and state funded enterprises mostly run by former party members who were given or ‘purchased’ the enterprises for a song and then ran amok as mafiosi in the 90’s. They’re not even interested in free enterprise writ large across society, they’re interested in the brutality of power. The sad part of the cycle is as more of these types of leaders grind more people out of the middle class you’ll probably see more people like Snofru pop up. I think it’s one of the main reasons that as rich middle class societies are undermined by the inferior leadership of ‘the strong man’ it creates more people who crave a ‘strong man’. In other words the fall into fascism is a self licking lollypop.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Mr T won’t resign, however if Congress has any balls and values it’s future as a independent branch of the US Government, it might impeach him. Mr T is going to have to clean out the intelligence agencies, the military, and FBI of counter intelligence officers who’s job it is to counter Russian intelligence operations. I speculate he’ll also try to create offices of liaison between US and Russian intelligence in the same way we have with our allies. This will make a lot of enemies and will be your best time to legally and forcibly remove him from office.

  • windbourne

    Actually, I am hopeful that Peter Thiel will push trump to NOT send NASA direction for the moon, but to instead help new private space get to the moon, with us as a customers.
    If NASA goes by themselves, it will not only be expensive, BUT, upon the first LOL, NASA will have to shut it down for several years.
    OTOH, if they have multiple new space companies, AND Europe AND Russia AND Japan, all involved, we can deal with such issues.

  • windbourne

    look, if you are going to attack doug, why not just go elsewhere?
    Seriously, if you object to the article (which many here will not), then simply go elsewhere.

    Personally, I see NOTHING in his statment that shows up as an attack on Trump. Trump, as a politicians, tells us what he wants to do, BUT, more than any others that I have seen in America, his statements CONSTANTLY refute what he said just the day before.
    That is a FACT that he does this. Doug is mentioning it, because we do not know if Trumps/Brinkley conversation is indicative of what trump wants.

  • windbourne

    oh god, I hope that limb of yours breaks on this one.
    Hopefully, you are WAY WRONG.

  • windbourne

    sending the SLS will be too expensive. For the price of just one launch of it, we can actually put multiple private launchers into space.

  • windbourne

    fascists love fascists leaders.
    Putin is one. So is trump.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    🙂 Yeah, me too. But that little Russian I’ve built up in my head after a lifetime of Soviet/Russia watching says …. If I had the US as a game piece in my hand ….. Not to mention the 10 years of watching Trump be the bumbling ass he is in the 80’s and 90’s. He’s ripe to be a tool of the KGB.

  • windbourne

    sorry, but trump will NOT resign, even if it means harming the Presidency and/or America.

    And to be honest, the idea of pence as president is actually worse than trump.

  • James

    Wind, the point behind these things isn’t to point out things or solve problems its to shut down someones voice.

    Effectively you can have no proof, point, and present no facts. However, these are unnecessary because the point is to ground the blog down in irrelevant BS and no win situations till they silence the opposition.

    Basically, use free speech to silence those who would use their own freedom of speech to disagree with you.

    Its used constantly by the far left and the Russian trolls and some people do it simply for the lols.

    In the end people are terrible and will wreak any system put down.

  • James

    LOL I honestly have no clue what trump will do at this point lol

  • windbourne

    Nobody does.

  • Snofru Chufu

    LOL, clearly in your mind, all whose are not extreme leftist are fascist. I would say that is a fascist’s political view.

  • Snofru Chufu

    I like it to observe how you liberals are suffering by Trump’s election.

  • windbourne

    LOL.
    I am not liberal and I believe in giving every president 6 months.
    Show me where you see me blasting him. You will not find it.

  • windbourne

    first off, not leftists. Secondly, fascism is purely a far right attribute. Just like Hitler and Mussolini were and Putin is today.
    For far left, look at Stalin and Chinese leaders. They were not real communist, but they were/are very much leftists.

  • Paul Thomas

    Someone who claimed the Chinese made up man made global warming to destroy American industry is not fit to hold local office, let alone be the leader of the ‘free world’ lol.

  • Snofru Chufu

    Giving him 6 months for you own judgement is a fair arrangement.

  • Snofru Chufu

    I think you are wrong saying that facism is just alone a right phenomena. It is not so simple as that. German fascists for example called themselves national socialists (!) and had a very strong socialist wing and heritage, which was later cut by Hitler, because Hitler was not crazy to destroy economy by nationalization as pure socialist states/rulers it did (USSSR, China for example).
    Fascsim is socialist in way for example that it set
    . Also Mussolini has roots in socialist party. There are only very small differences btew
    Facsim

  • Vladislaw

    The United States was founded under liberalism and the Age of Enlightenment. We fought the conservatives who supported the dictator king. I laugh when you try to demonize the word liberal.

  • Snofru Chufu

    You may laugh as you want, but cannot compare 18th century and today US’ liberalism. In today’s USA being a liberal equals being a leftist. This is because leftists misused the term liberal by applying it to theirselves. Real liberals are libertarians.

  • Vladislaw

    But you can still compare the same conservatism and the desire for a king or a theocracy.