Is Trump the New JFK of Space?

Yeah, I don’t think so….

OK, let me clarify that. I’ve seen no real signs so far that Trump wants to do anything really bold in space. That could change; never say never. But, it’s been five months, and he hasn’t even gotten around to nominating a NASA administrator yet. His FY 2018 budget proposal doesn’t include anything novel.

“Mr. Trump’s charisma, vision, and style are reminiscent of JFK…”

Mmmmm… Definitely not.

Here’s a challenge for you guys for the comments sections: JFK’s greatest and most inspiring quotes side-by-side with Trump’s worst quotes and Tweets. Don’t limit yourself to space.

Read the full op-ed piece.

  • Tom Billings

    “Is Trump the New JFK of Space?”

    I should hope not! Kennedy pushed a propaganda campaign, in response to Kruschev’s Space Propaganda campaign, that had settled into a 40 years of grey turf defending dormancy going no farther than Earth Orbit, within 15 years of his speech at Rice University. That “pulse and then prevaricate” pattern is *not* what the US needs its attention on today!

    Trump can serve the settlement of the Solar System best by establishing the rights of people to act off Earth without prior approval from bureaucrats, under minimal laws that require launchers and space manufacturers to pick up their own garbage. State worshippers may want Trump to expand what the State does in Space. I want freedom to expand throughout everything we do in Space! If Trump quietly does that, *I* will be most satisfied.

  • Carlton Stephenson

    Oh leave the poor man alone. He’s behind on nearly all of his staffing. Plus Congress is giving him a hard time with all these investigations. But once he secures whatever it is he is trying to get from Putin, America should have his full attention.

  • Richard Malcolm

    Trump doesn’t care about space – at least not beyond the point that it might be able to make him look good.

    But here’s another truth: JFK didn’t care about it, either.

  • Dan Foss

    How long does it take any President to nominate a new Administrator? It always takes a year or two. In my time in the industry, this was never a top priority for any incoming President. The current Administrator or Acting Administrator is usually more that happy to carry on as the new President sees fit. Maybe check facts before launching into political rhetoric. This is never helpful. By doing so, you are likely alienating a large number of your publications followers.

    Space History Lesson 101:
    President O did nothing new. He continued President GWBush’ Ares V lite, AFTER congress rebelled. To put his own spin on it, he decided to do things in orbit of the Moon, instead of on the Moon. Even his commercial space was really GWB’s commercial space, though that part of COTS was spun off into CCP. It is the same exact thing though. He did however move out timelines for EVERYTHING compared to the GWB plan.
    The Space Exploration piece (now SLS) of President GWB’s did not contain much new, but instead resurrected his Dad’s plans. Some of those plans come from prior Administrations as early as Nixon. The COTS contract was unique though. Going back to the Moon so the spending on the ISS could be redirected was unique too. If memory serves, the ISS was to be used for that.
    President Clinton, as many if not most Administrations want to do, scuttled GHWB’s plans for his own, essentially what is CCP limited to Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser type vehicle. Everything gets recycled.
    Even the ISS was Space Station Freedom under Reagan, which had heritage in earlier Administrations. Changing it to ISS allowed lots of international participation, a move that caused massive delays and costs to spiral up, up, up. NASA had to fix much of what was supplied (sorry Canada and Russia, especially). We end up with a duplicate of what the Russians were building just to ensure it didn’t curtail the project completely.
    The likelihood of President Trump doing anything uniquely new is not high. But that has really never been the case. The hope is though that he can apply some business savvy to get this completed without a lot of pain across NASA and contractors. Politics are always involved (this piece must be built here because so and so Senator is important and can cause problems in getting funding, etc). The President who does get us to Mars is going to take a lot of glory that belongs on the shoulders of all the Presidents who came before. Well except President Carter.

  • Douglas Messier

    A year or two? Really?

    No, not really. Go back and look at when Charlie Bolden was nominated and confirmed.

  • Dan Foss

    OK. I admit on him I was off 6 months (most others nominated shortly after election day and confirmed within a few weeks).

  • mike_shupp

    Memory says Obama had a NASA Administrator in mind when he was inaugurated — an Air Force Lt General named Grafton or something similar, who instead opted for a post in the US African Command at the last moment. So Charles Bolden was a fill-m candidate — but it didn’t take Obama as long to find and nominate him as Donald Trump has had.

    Right now, my bet is acting Administrator Lightfoot gets the job — he knows the territory so to speak. He seems as qualified as any other candidate, he’s evidently comfortable with Trump and with Congress, people have had time to get familiar with his presence, he won’t make waves. What else does one want in a NASA Administrator these days?

  • duheagle

    Quite. If Trump were to gin up no new initiatives on his watch, but cancel SLS-Orion, cut the NASA budget by the amount saved and sign anything Ted Cruz and the Congress come up with anent commercial space, the U.S. would be solidly in plus territory. Anything else would be gravy.

  • Douglas Messier

    Bolden was nominated in May and confirmed in July. There are some indications the president might nominate someone in the next week, so it would be longer than Obama took but not that much longer.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Exactly. He was one of the few Senators that never issued a press release on Sputnik.

  • ThomasLMatula

    His Op-Ed is based on his theory of long term “waves” in societies, which are independent of who happens to be President. He would have likely written something similar if Hillary Clinton was elected. It is always good to analyze pieces like this in the context of which they are written.

    “In 1996, Dr. Cordell published “Forecasting the Next Major Thrust into Space” (in Space Policy), in which he introduced his new theory, based on patterns in long-term trends in the economy and technology over the last 200 years, that logically explained our romance with President Kennedy’s space program in the 1960s and our boredom with it in the 1970s. And more importantly, based on macroeconomic and macrohistorical trends, he was able to forecast that the decade from 2015 to 2025 will be the analog of the 1960’s. For example, it should culminate in humans on Mars and
    lunar tourists. In 2006, these ideas were expanded in “21st Century Waves: Forecasting Technology Booms and Human Expansion into the Cosmos ”that appeared in Futures Research Quarterly.”

  • Paul_Scutts

    No, Trump’s a “real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land …”.

  • Robert G. Oler

    I’ll try reading the op ed after a day of flight operations…cannot get sick before that 🙂

  • Arthur Hamilton

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! Trump compared to JFK????? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I fell out of my chair at the coffee shop. Really, Trump haven’t done anything. NASA is still following the compromise space plan of O’Bama and his Congress, except for the cancellation of the asteroid redirect mission. Trump needs 2 years in office, at least, to compare with any President.