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Thread: The Donald Trump Admin Space Exploration Policy

  1. #61
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    The Planetary Society analysis the 1st meeting of the National Space Council.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey...oses-moon.html

    With the retired space shuttle Discovery looking over his shoulder, Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the first meeting of the newly reconstituted National Space Council today by declaring Americans will return to the Moon. He also said Americans will establish a commercial presence in low-Earth orbit, and use the Moon as a training ground to prepare for missions to Mars.

    The highly anticipated meeting took place at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington, D.C. The National Space Council is an advisory group tasked with streamlining and coordinating national space policy for civil, military and industry space programs. Its members include the leaders of multiple government agencies, including the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, and NASA.

    The event helped clarify some of the Trump administration's space policy intentions, but there are many details yet to be addressed. Space council members have 45 days to submit responses on today's meeting, and the real indicator of what happens next will come from next year's NASA budget request.

    In short, there are many questions, and we'll need answers before we can truly understand this new policy. In the meantime, here are our initial reactions and analysis.

  2. #62
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    Here is the White House on the National Space Council meeting.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017...oon-and-beyond

    On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence visited the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. The purpose of the meeting at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center was to convene the National Space Council for the first time in 25 years. The Vice President, who served on the NASA subcommittee in his first year in Congress, will chair the new council. “[I]t is my great honor -- in fact, it’s very humbling for me -- to have the opportunity to serve as its chair at the first meeting in nearly a quarter-century,” the Vice President stated.

  3. #63
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    There are lots of article on the US's new direction in space. Here is yet another one.

    I agree with the view that is to early as so far there is no other details other then the decision we will go to the surface of the moon and build a base. Till more details is flashed out how it is to be done and how will it be financed. How commercial companies will will fit in. We will just have and see how it crystallizes.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...n-mars/542340/

    The vice president’s comments marked a pivot from Barack Obama’s directive for a “Journey to Mars,” established in 2010, and harkens to the aspirations set forth by the George W. Bush administration. The Obama administration had maintained that some kind of human activity in cislunar space—the region between the Earth and the moon—was necessary to test technology for a mission to Mars, but the efforts would amount to a pit stop, not a destination. While Pence did not provide details on what kind of “foundation” Americans would build on the moon, the new direction was clear: Americans should be spending more time in their cosmic backyard before flying off into the solar system.

    “It’s a 180-degree shift from no moon to moon first,” said John Logsdon, a space-policy expert and former director of the Space-Policy Institute at George Washington University.

    The announcement is obviously good news for space-transportation companies and lunar researchers lamenting the country’s 45-year absence from the moon. For those in the Mars camp, many of whom aim for a human mission to the planet by 2033, the news puts their ambitions on shakier ground.

  4. #64
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    Trump space adviser: Blue Origin and SpaceX rockets arenít really commercial

    "Heavy-lift rockets are strategic national assets, like aircraft carriers," [Scott] Pace said. "There are some people who have talked about buying heavy-lift as a service as opposed to owning and operating, in which case the government would, of course, have to continue to own the intellectual properties so it wasn't hostage to any one contractor. One could imagine this but, in general, building a heavy-lift rocket is no more 'commercial' than building an aircraft carrier with private contractors would be."
    Scientific American: Q&A: Plotting U.S. Space Policy with White House Adviser Scott Pace
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  5. #65
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    It is official. Trump has announced the they are going back to the moon.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/11/po...oon/index.html

    President Donald Trump wants to send astronauts where no man has gone before.

    Trump authorized the acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. to "lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars" during a White House signing ceremony.

    Standing with retired astronauts and Vice President Mike Pence, Trump touted the initiative as the first step in establishing a foundation on the moon for "an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond."

    "The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," Trump said. "It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration and use. This time we will not only plan on flag and leave our footprint."

  6. #66
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    They? I know I've got my preference about whom to send first.
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It is official. Trump has announced the they are going back to the moon.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/11/po...oon/index.html
    Hasn't that always been an objective of SLS?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Hasn't that always been an objective of SLS?
    No near the moon and anywhere else

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    They? I know I've got my preference about whom to send first.
    Ooooh, ooooh, but for the uncrewed test flight without a heat shield, can we fill the capsule with final exams and term papers?

    /it's that time of the semester and I'm losing my mind

  10. #70
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    Trump signs policy directing NASA to send humans to the Moon
    http://www.spacetoday.net/Summary/6877
    President Trump signed a policy directive Monday to send humans back to the Moon, but offered no additional details about that plan. In a brief White House ceremony, Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to return humans to the Moon as a step towards later missions to Mars.

    some articles from Jeff Foust who used to post regular in the spacepolitics blog

    A bridge to Venus
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3389/1
    by Jeff Foust

    NASA planning to purchase Earth science data from commercial smallsat systems
    http://spacenews.com/nasa-planning-t...llsat-systems/
    by Jeff Foust

  11. #71
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    With the new trust for NASA to focus on the moon, could NASA outsource it?

    http://thehill.com/opinion/technolog...rn-to-the-moon

    With all of this private sector activity directed at the moon, the question arises, what if NASA were to outsource the return to the moon?



    A big argument for outsourcing lunar exploration came recently in the form of a study conducted by Edgar Zapata at the Kennedy Space Center of NASA’s current commercial space partnerships, the Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems (COTS) program, and the Commercial Crew program. The conclusion of the study is that NASA has saved hundreds of millions of dollars by going to COTS rather than using the space shuttle to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station. Those savings are going to increase once the Commercial Crew spacecraft, the SpaceX Dragon, and the Boeing Starliner become operational in about a year.

    The current plan of the Trump administration is to focus NASA’s efforts on a return to the moon before embarking on sending people to Mars. The effort has a lot of arguments in favor of it, economic, political and scientific. However, going back to the moon is bound to be expensive. Considering that NASA saved and will save a lot of money by going commercial for transportation between Earth and Earth orbit, the case for a similar arrangement for going back to the moon is compelling.

    The idea would be for NASA and whichever international partners would care to join in a return to the moon effort to create what might be called the "commercial lunar program." The CL program would be divided into three parts, cargo to the moon, people to the moon, and then, finally, a lunar base.

  12. #72
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    Astronauts think Trump's plan to go back to the moon will take time.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/astronauts...e/4191680.html

    American astronauts aboard the International Space Station told VOA on Wednesday that their excitement about recently announced plans to restore U.S. manned space missions to lunar orbit was eclipsed only by their skepticism about the logistical feasibility of completing the mission within six years.

    “Going back to the moon is a bigger project than a lot of people think,” said Expedition 54 Flight Engineer Scott Tingle, who joined fellow NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei at the ISS on December 19.

  13. #73
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    The latest issue of The Space Review carries an article the says NASA can not expect an increase in their budget. So if Trump wants to return to the moon during his presidency then they will have to put the current major developments (SLS, Orion capsule and deep space habitat) on the back burner and concentrate all the resources on the moon mission.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3407/1

    In September 2009, the Augustine Committee issued its report reviewing the United States human spaceflight plans. The main finding of this report was that NASA had too much on its plate. In 2009 NASA had the Constellation program, whose primary goal was to return humans to the Moon by 2020. However, the funding to carry out this program was woefully inadequate.

    What was true then is more so today. NASA has been actively pursuing three programs for human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit: the Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft, and, more recently, the Deep Space Gateway. But progress on these three programs has been slow in large part due to inadequate funding.

  14. #74
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    There are reports circulating that The Trump administration wants to end NASA funding for the ISS in 2025.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/24/1...t-request-2025

    The Trump administration is preparing to end support for the International Space Station program by 2025, according to a draft budget proposal reviewed by The Verge. Without the ISS, American astronauts could be grounded on Earth for years with no destination in space until NASA develops new vehicles for its deep space travel plans.

    The draft may change before an official budget request is released on February 12th. However, two people familiar with the matter have confirmed to The Verge that the directive will be in the final proposal. We reached out to NASA for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    There are reports circulating that The Trump administration wants to end NASA funding for the ISS in 2025.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/24/1...t-request-2025
    A 2 minute video of Biglow offering to step in with his unit if that is to happen.

    The race to space is heating up for commercial businesses, including one right here in the Valley. This comes after news broke that NASA may be forced to stop funding the International Space System by 2025.

    At Bigelow Aerospace, crews are hard at work, creating technology that’s out of this world.

    “There is no handbook that explains how to operate a commercial space station,” Bigelow VP of Corporate Strategy Blair Bigelow said. “This is something that only the government has been doing.”

    In 2016, Bigelow partnered with NASA to launch a prototype called BEAM, which stands for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

    And so far, it’s been a success.

    “It was awarded a mission extension and it’s now a more operational part of the ISS,” Bigelow said. “It’s been used as a mini-warehouse of sorts.”

    But folks at Bigelow have even bigger plans. This is just a scale of their latest project: B-330, set to launch in 2021, just four years before the possible defunding of the ISS.

    “Abandonment of the ISS without a commercial alternative would be absolutely foolish,” Bigelow said.

    So Bigelow has sent a proposal to NASA, saying the B-330 could save taxpayer money.

  16. #76
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    Will NASA or space exploration receive a single word of mention during his state of the union speech tonight?
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    Will NASA or space exploration receive a single word of mention during his state of the union speech tonight?
    Apparently not. No mention of space or NASA in the transcript:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2018-st...ipt-full-text/

  18. #78
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    Three major takeaways from NASA's 2018 budget for me were -
    1) Trump administration wants to cancel Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).
    2) No more extension beyond 2024 for ISS unless comercial companies take it over.
    3) This surprised me most. Nothing substantial towards a return to the moon by NASA.

    Here are two articles on the subject-

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...19-budget.html

    Happy NASA budget release day! The White House released its fiscal year 2019 budget request this morning, and it proposes more than $19.9 billion for NASA.

    Congress has yet to fund NASA in 2018, so the agency has spent this fiscal year operating on 2017-adjacent numbers, under a series of continuing budget resolutions (and two government shutdowns).

    I had planned to first post the raw 2019 numbers in one of our handy, mobile-friendly tables before settling in to write a more in-depth look at the details. But NASA still hasn’t released the full budget document, and there are several structural changes to the way the line items for 2019 are presented.

    Complicating matters further is that after the budget was complete, Congress raised government spending caps, and the Office of Management and Budget proposed to give NASA another $300 million. Most of that would go to human spaceflight.
    http://spacenews.com/nasa-budget-pro...cancel-wfirst/

    The Trump administration is offering $19.9 billion for NASA in its fiscal year 2019 request, while seeking to cancel a flagship astronomy mission and end NASA funding of the International Space Station in 2025.

    A key cut included in the proposal, released Feb. 12, is cancelling the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), the agency’s next flagship astrophysics mission after the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA had been in the midst of revising the mission’s design to lower its costs from an estimated $3.9 billion to $3.2 billion.

    “Development of the WFIRST space telescope would have required a significant funding increase in 2019 and future years, with a total cost of more than $3 billion,” the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stated in a document outlining planned cuts across the overall federal budget proposal. “Given competing priorities at NASA, and budget constraints, developing another large space telescope immediately after completing the $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope is not a priority for the Administration.”

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The latest issue of The Space Review carries an article the says NASA can not expect an increase in their budget. So if Trump wants to return to the moon during his presidency then they will have to put the current major developments (SLS, Orion capsule and deep space habitat) on the back burner and concentrate all the resources on the moon mission.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3407/1
    Ummm...don't they need SLS and Orion for the Moon mission??
    Also, the idea that BFR will have "cost per launch 1/100 of SLS" tells that writer has poor grasp of reality.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zartan View Post
    Ummm...don't they need SLS and Orion for the Moon mission??
    Also, the idea that BFR will have "cost per launch 1/100 of SLS" tells that writer has poor grasp of reality.
    True but I expected to see more allocation for moon missions(R&D). As it stands, China will be more active then the US with moon missions for the next few years.

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    American express alam at the proposed cancellation of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/As...scope_999.html

    Sharing alarm voiced by other scientists, leaders of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are expressing grave concern over the administration's proposed cuts to NASA's astrophysics budget and the abrupt cancellation of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

    "We cannot accept termination of WFIRST, which was the highest-priority space-astronomy mission in the most recent decadal survey," says AAS President-Elect Megan Donahue (Michigan State University). "And the proposed 10% reduction in NASA's astrophysics budget, amounting to nearly $1 billion over the next five years, will cripple US astronomy."

    WFIRST, the successor to the 28-year-old Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope, is the top-ranked large space-astronomy mission of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, the National Academies' Astro2010 decadal survey, and is an essential component of a balanced space astrophysics portfolio. Cutting NASA's astrophysics budget and canceling WFIRST would leave our nation without a large space telescope to succeed Hubble and Webb.

  22. #82
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    Another article on the budget.

    https://eos.org/articles/five-takeaw...udget-for-nasa

    President Donald Trump has requested $19.9 billion for NASA’s 2019 fiscal year (FY), a $500 million increase from FY 2018’s budget request and $61 million below FY 2017’s funding level. If this budget passes Congress unchanged, experts expect it will signal big changes to NASA’s focus and direction.

    Notably, the budget request calls for defunding the International Space Station, cutting a flagship space telescope mission, and sending humans back to the Moon for extensive exploration. The budget also carries over requests from 2018, including canceling several Earth-observing satellites and eliminating NASA’s Office of Education. For a breakdown of the budget request compared to 2017’s spending, see Table 1.

  23. #83
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    Article in Forbes arguing against the cancellation of WFIRST.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/startsw.../#3121c95b57b0

    Last week, the White House released their plans for the 2018 fiscal year budget. Across many metrics and departments, it was a bloodbath, gutting about $50 billion from agencies focused on science, health, food, arts, humanities, the environment, and education, among many others. But among the reductions was one murderous stroke to NASA: the elimination its flagship mission of the coming decade, WFIRST. The Wide-Field Infrared Space Telescope was chosen by NASA to be the single most important astrophysics mission of the 2020s, and has been in the early planning stages for nearly 20 years. Countless astronomers and astrophysicists have spend their entire professional lives working to make this mission happen, and teach us things we'll never know, otherwise, about the Universe. Cancelling it is a decision that must be revoked, or NASA will cease to be the leading science and space agency for planet Earth.

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    American[s] express ala[r]m at the proposed cancellation of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).
    This is very bad. A chance to investigate dark energy, but instead Trump wants to go to the moon? "Incurious" is the least offensive adjective I can think of to describe this administration's thinking about astronomy and science in general.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    This is very bad. A chance to investigate dark energy, but instead Trump wants to go to the moon? "Incurious" is the least offensive adjective I can think of to describe this administration's thinking about astronomy and science in general.
    Indeed.

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    Highlights from the National Space Council’s meeting.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2018/nation...lations-china/

    Space industry deregulation, and the potential perils posed by China’s space program, shared the spotlight at today’s meeting of the National Space Council, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence.

    Commercial space ventures and NASA’s vision for deep-space exploration also got shout-outs when members of the council, newly named advisers and other VIPs gathered inside the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    “As we continue to push further into our solar system, new businesses and entire enterprises will be built to seize the infinite possibilities before us,” Pence declared. “And there will be no limit to the jobs and prosperity that will be created across this country.”

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