Trump Leaves a Lasting Mark on Space

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Article by Miriam Kramer                                           December 15, 2020                                         (axios.com)

• President Trump put the American space program front-and-center during his tenure. Building upon years of work by the space industry, the Trump administration helped open up new commercial opportunities in orbit. But some question whether those gains are sustainable in the long term.

• “I think the space program is in better shape now than it was when he took office,” says John Logsdon, the founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. Trump consistently prioritized NASA funding in his budget proposals and relaunched the National Space Council which holds agencies accountable for their work with space. His administration extended the reach of commercial partnerships in space, outsourcing that work to private companies in a trend that is likely to continue far into the future. And Trump created Space Force.

• Most of the criticism of Trump’s space policy is due to the political rhetoric accompanying them rather than the substance. Trump consistently politicized NASA’s wins, claiming credit for the Obama and Bush-era policies, and framing NASA’s accomplishments as ways to “make America great again,” Logsdon said. That has put off some space allies, including Russia, which has yet to sign on to NASA’s Artemis Accords’ plans for the exploration of the Moon.

• The Trump administration moved the ball forward for the US space enterprise, to be sure. But credit also goes to those in the space industry who went before and did years of ground work. Commercializing space with private rockets and spacecraft has taken time and funding from a number of previous administrations. The Space Force was an idea long before Trump took office.

• Some experts are also concerned that some of the progress made in commercializing space may not be sustainable. Landing people on the Moon is an entirely new level of difficulty for any private company. Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about whether a human lander built by private companies would be as safe as one built by NASA. And the market for space services may be limited to government customers, at least for the foreseeable future, as the private market for those kinds of missions isn’t clear.

• Biden will need to decide what his administration will build on when it comes to Trump’s space policies. Some suggest the new administration should continue with the Artemis Moon missions, commercial opportunities, and Space Force while changing the rhetoric around space accomplishments.

 

President Trump put the American space program front-and-center during his tenure, defining priorities in orbit and beyond that will outlast his four years as president.

The big picture: The Trump administration helped open up new commercial opportunities in orbit, building on years of work by the space industry. But some question whether those gains are sustainable in the long term.

What’s happening: “I think the space program is in better shape now than it was when he took office,” John Logsdon, the founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, told me.

• Trump consistently prioritized NASA funding in his budget proposals and relaunched the National Space Council, which aims to hold agencies accountable for their work with space.
• The Trump administration also extended the reach of commercial partnerships in space. Instead of NASA building a human-rated lunar lander, for example, the agency is outsourcing that work to private companies in a trend that is likely to continue far into the future.
• “[Space] may be one of the least controversial areas of his legacy,” Michael Gleason of the Aerospace Corporation told me.
• And perhaps his biggest move was standing up the U.S. Space Force.
“While some of the Trump administration’s space policy decisions and initiatives have generated criticism, that is more due to the political rhetoric accompanying them than the substance.”
— The Secure World Foundation, in a briefing document

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Artemis Accords, Biden, Donald Trump, John Logsdon, NASA, space force, space industry


ExoNews Editor

Duke Brickhouse is a former trial lawyer and entertainment attorney who has refocused his life’s work to exposing the truth of our subjugated planet and to help raise humanity’s collective consciousness at this crucial moment in our planet’s history, in order to break out of the dark and negative false reality that is preventing the natural development of our species, to put our planet on a path of love, light and harmony in preparation for our species’ ascension to a fourth density, and to ultimately take our rightful place in the galactic community.

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