Trump’s Space Policy

I haven’t seen everything, so I can’t say for sure that this is the stupidest, most ignorant take on it, but it will do until something dumber comes along.

[Update a few minutes later]

Meanwhile, a much smarter take from Sarah Cruddas.

[Monday-morning update]

Aaaaand here’s a rewriting of space history from Jason Rhian. Too busy with conference to fisk it, but it needs it badly.


20 thoughts on “Trump’s Space Policy”

  1. Are the progressive snowflakes really that stupid or is it just the way they write? The comments mostly seem to be Obama-fellators.

    1. The comments mostly seem to be Obama-fellators.

      Jim Oberg, bless his heart, tried to talk some sense into the author, but it’s a losing battle. Keep fighting the good fight, Jim.

    2. Obama would never cancel a science program or cut a budget for science. They didn’t call him President Spock for nothing you know. What Obama cut the next Mars rover partnership with ESA?

      Must be nice to have a media that works so hard to shape people’s perception of reality in your favor. These are probably the same people who didn’t know we were at war in Yemen, had troops in Niger, and thought Libya was going well.

  2. Hmm, rare miss from Salon on space news. They’re usually my go-to. Step aside, Jeff Foust – Salon will take it from here!

    1. You are both right.

      Trump wants to steal money from science in order to give money to evil billionaires to build big expensive rockets. Rockets that would be far cheaper if NASA built them herself. Other billionaires are even spending their own money on science missions. Funding for science should be strictly limited to the government. How could Trump allow this? NAZI is space amiright?

      And why would Trump even pick the Moon and Mars? Let me spell it out for you. Spanish for moon is Luna. Trump picked the Moon because he is racist against Mexicans and because Luna is a gendered word and we know Trump is a rapist, he wants to rape the moon because he thinks its mexican. Then off to Mars. Mars is the god of war and Trump is a war monger isolationist. And don’t forget women are from Venus and Men are from Mars. Mars was selected to perpetuate the patriarchy.

      It is especially problematic that Trump is weaponizing NASA by turning to defense contractors like Boeing and Orbital ATK. Could you imagine Boeing being in charge of building rockets, capsules, or taking over management of the ISS from NASA? Trump is going to ruin NASA.

      1. I thought he picked Luna because he wanted to have his way with her. You know they let you do that when you’re a celebrity.

          1. It’s “grab”, not “pick up.”

            I guess you spend your time outdoors or doing useful things unlike the rest of us here to not know this?

  3. “It’s hard to ask a question like, “why does Trump want to go to the moon?” in this manner without sounding conspiratorial.”

    You don’t say.

  4. Whats important is not annoying all those voters connected to NASA jobs (as Johnson intended.)

    I really loath politicians. I’m not too happy with the voters either.

  5. Holy cow, they really set the bar pretty high there. I’m not sure that’s going to be beat.

    I never responded to the other thread, but my basic take is that Trump’s enthusiasm for NASA is just a bit more than Obama’s which is to say it isn’t a priority. But his declaration does give the SLS a mission and thus a purpose more useful than just “explore”. But otherwise, it doesn’t do much at all.

  6. I was asking myself how anyone could be that idiotic when I noticed that it was Salon, and all became clear.

    1. Yes. When Rand termed it “the stupidest, most ignorant take” I wondered who could it be. Then he said “Salon” and all was clear.

  7. I have vague recollections of a time long ago, when Salon had just started, when they weren’t utterly hopeless.

    Good times.

  8. During the Apollo years, NASA went through three presidents, two Democrats (Kennedy and Johnson) and one Republican (Nixon). The difference between now and then is the “Apollo Presidents” didn’t try to erase what their predecessors had established. As sad as the end of Apollo was, at least the presidents of that time allowed them to finish. Recent U.S. leaders – won’t even allow NASA to do that.

    People always complain about this. Guess what snowflakes, the government isn’t autonomous. Government is responsive to the people. This means NASA has to fight for its budget against all of the other worthy causes to spend money on and the agency’s direction is set by elected politicians.

    Instead of advocating unelected and unaccountable people have free reign to what ever some petty tyrant administrator wants, people should realize that they are using NASA as a stand in for individuals and groups of people pursuing their own desires. NASA doesn’t get to have their own desires. They do what politicians tell them to.

    Groups and individuals chart their own directions and stick to what they think are important, not government agencies acting as mini dictatorships in what was once thought of as a free society.

  9. There is a rule of thumb regarding robot missions and human missions: In general, robots can achieve the same amount of science as a manned mission could, at 1/100th or even 1/1000th the cost.

    We actually have a real world historical comparison here, with the US exploration of the Moon (including the Apollo program) which have both manned and unmanned portions. According to this accounting of the matter, just over $4.5 billion in 1994 dollars was spent on the Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter programs, all unmanned. The total estimated cost was $100 billion in 1994 dollars (Mercury through Apollo) with roughly $7 billion preceding the unmanned exploration and $7 billion spent on Skylab following.

    So unmanned portion of lunar exploration was well within two orders of magnitude of the manned portion and it didn’t do anywhere near the “science” of the manned portion.

    A big problem with what space missions “can” cost, is that it depends on how efficient you are trying to be. There are a large number of projects where NASA didn’t try to be efficient and as a result wasn’t. Those are useless for determining practical cost estimates. The same goes for the Apollo program, though here, both the unmanned and manned portions were subject to the same pressures. If anything, they would try to spend less on the unmanned portion to save more funds for the manned portion.

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