Presidential Memorandum on Reinvigorating America’s Human Space Exploration Program

Credit: Matt Wade

Presidential Memorandum on
Reinvigorating America’s Human Space Exploration Program

SUBJECT:  Reinvigorating America’s Human Space Exploration Program

Section 1.  Amendment to Presidential Policy Directive-4.

Presidential Policy Directive-4 of June 28, 2010 (National Space Policy), is amended as follows:

The paragraph beginning “Set far-reaching exploration milestones” is deleted and replaced with the following:

“Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.  Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations;”.

Sec. 2.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.

Donald J. Trump

  • ThomasLMatula

    This is the specific part of President Obama’s space policy directive of June 28 2010 that is replaced.

    “The Administrator of NASA shall:

    Set far-reaching exploration milestones.By 2025, begin crewed missions beyond the moon, including sending humans to an asteroid.By the mid-2030s, send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth;”

    Replaced with

    “The Administrator of NASA shall:

    Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with
    commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the
    solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.
    Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the
    return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization,
    followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations;”.

    The link to the June 28 2010 policy at NASA is

    https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf

    Now all we need is for Congress to approve Rep. Bridenstine as NASA Administrator

  • windbourne

    yeah, looks like you had it wrong that T is not going to mars.
    He is simply using the moon as a development point, which I am glad to see.

    Now, that he has done the Business two-step BS and paid it lip service,
    we will have to see what he backs it up with.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I guess you missed this part of it…

    “followed by human missions to Mars”

    The original President Obama statement just called for going Mars orbit.

    He has nominated both an Administrator and someone with strong financial experience to be NASA’s CFO. Both are being held up by the Senate. He needs them both in place before he takes on the Senate with any radical changes to the pork flows.

  • Michael Halpern

    The commercial partners part is probably a Kelly addition, because the capability exists or nearly exists and Trump doesn’t need any more reasons for people to cry foul, the international partners is of course Russia, but in space, that is standard practice, so no one will complain, unless they complain about Russian vodka on US soil too.

  • Jeff2Space

    The problem with “moon first” is that it does little to help with the actual hardware needed for a Mars mission. The tenuous atmosphere of Mars combined with higher gravity and less dependable sunlight makes everything different. So much so that little of what we develop for use on the moon will be applicable to Mars.

  • ThomasLMatula

    And that argument has kept us stuck in LEO for 45 years.

    Those technical issues are easily dealt with. Hardware always is, just mix money with engineers. What the Moon will teach us abut is logistics, human physiology in low gravity, behavior of small groups in isolation, integrating robots and humans in exploration, etc. The tough issues of going to Mars no one wants to talk about.

  • Jeff2Space

    LOL, me thinks you’re not an engineer.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Project Apollo already proved that all you need to go somewhere like Mars is to mix money and engineers. We could have gone to Mars then if the geopolitics required it, but it didn’t.

    Any expansion out of LEO won’t be sustainable unless you address the economics of it. That is why going to the Moon first is critical, to create the infrastructure to open up the Solar System. The problem is engineers see all problems as technical issues, but history has always shown the technical hurdles are usually the easiest to solve once the economics and geopolitics line up. I know engineers see them as mountains, but they usually aren’t they are not that big once you have the resources to address it.

  • Vladislaw

    “Lunar advocates see it about the Moon, Mars and beyond, a win-win approach.”

    Not all Lunar advocates want to ever see mars.. our friend Gary Church is always ranting about mars is a dead end.

  • Vladislaw

    I thought it was an unwilling congress that kept us stuck in LEO?

  • ThomasLMatula

    Congress is a factor, however it is not as big factor as space advocates think. The problem is the focus of advocates has always been on hardware and destinations. Congress is interested in justification and ROI, not necessary money, but political ROI on Earth. But no one approaches them from that perspective and definitely not advocate groups that are just as focused on hardware and destinations.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It is in terms of the economic development of space because it’s resources will be off limits for decades due to planetary protection zealots. But like Antarctica, whose resources are off limits for similar reasons, it will be a great play ground for science. That is why it’s a suitable goal for NASA.