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#1 2017-12-15 18:56:34

EdwardHeisler
Member
Registered: 2017-09-20
Posts: 357

Trump's Weak Space Policy Directive-1 A Big Nothingburger

Federation of American Scientists
A New Category of Presidential Directives
by Steven Aftergood
December 14, 2017

President Trump created an entire new category of presidential directives to present his guidance for the U.S. space program. The new Space Policy Directive 1 was signed on December 11 and published in the Federal Register today.

“President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon,” enthused NASA public affairs in a news release.

But the directive itself does no such thing. Instead, it makes modest editorial adjustments to the 2010 National Space Policy that was issued by President Obama and adopted in Presidential Decision Directive 4.

Obama’s policy had stated:

“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;”

Trump’s new SPD-1 orders the deletion and replacement of that one paragraph with the following text:

“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;”

And that’s it. At a White House signing ceremony on December 11, President Trump said grandly that “This directive will ensure America’s space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity.”

But it’s hard to see how that could be so. The Trump directive does not (and cannot) allocate any new resources to support a return to the Moon, and it does not modify existing authorities or current legislative proposals.

Interestingly, it also does not modify the many other provisions of Obama’s 14-page space policy, including requirements “to enhance U.S. global climate change research” and “climate monitoring.” Unless and until they are modified or revoked, those provisions remain in effect.

https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2017/12/s … directive/

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So the Trump government is dropping Obama's timeline for sending humans beyond the Moon in 2025 and around Mars in the 2030's.
No new timelines and architecture were provided in Trump's "Space Directive", just general "sustainable" ideas that won't require major funding.

Last edited by EdwardHeisler (2017-12-16 15:30:39)

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#2 2017-12-15 20:25:21

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,419

Re: Trump's Weak Space Policy Directive-1 A Big Nothingburger

Before sitting in judgment of this announcement and being totally negative, let's wait until the Senate gets it's act together and confirms the nomination of Jim Bridenstine as the Administrator of NASA. On the flip side--I'm somewhat encouraged that there was any announcement at all. At this point, NASA is without any direction internally. Trump doesn't direct NASA other than through directives which are then implemented by the administrator.

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#3 2017-12-15 20:35:54

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
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Re: Trump's Weak Space Policy Directive-1 A Big Nothingburger

The reference to commercial partners is important, too. The only way NASA will get to the moon and Mars in any reasonable timeline and price is through partnerships with Space X and Jeff Bezos. Musk's BFR/BFS could be landing people on the moon by 2024 and for a tenth the amount of money NASA would have to spend.

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#4 2017-12-15 20:44:01

EdwardHeisler
Member
Registered: 2017-09-20
Posts: 357

Re: Trump's Weak Space Policy Directive-1 A Big Nothingburger

Oldfart1939 wrote:

Before sitting in judgment of this announcement and being totally negative, let's wait until the Senate gets it's act together and confirms the nomination of Jim Bridenstine as the Administrator of NASA. On the flip side--I'm somewhat encouraged that there was any announcement at all. At this point, NASA is without any direction internally. Trump doesn't direct NASA other than through directives which are then implemented by the administrator.

I don't think it was much of an announcement.    The Trump space directive kept all but one paragraph of President Obama's 14 page 2010 directive!

Check out Obama's directive at:

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/si … -28-10.pdf

Again, there is no change except for a single paragraph!   We'll have a better idea of the Trump government space policy and objectives when they submit the 2019 NASA budget authorization request. 

But, you're right.   I'm not very optimistic about the prospects for a serious and well funded NASA plan to send human explorers to Mars or even the Moon.

I think Space X along with China, ESA, etc., will lead the way on that.    And the Senate may not confirm Bridenstine.   I don't support him for the reasons I laid out in other posts.    I think he's only interested in enriching himself and his friends by mining operations on the Moon and cares little about scientific discovery and going to Mars   He's no Elon Musk or Robert Zubrin.

We shall see.   I hope I'm wrong.

Last edited by EdwardHeisler (2017-12-16 16:39:16)

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#5 2017-12-16 05:48:43

CalvinSteen
InActive
From: Tampa, Florida
Registered: 2017-12-06
Posts: 18

Re: Trump's Weak Space Policy Directive-1 A Big Nothingburger

RobS wrote:

The reference to commercial partners is important, too. The only way NASA will get to the moon and Mars in any reasonable timeline and price is through partnerships with Space X and Jeff Bezos. Musk's BFR/BFS could be landing people on the moon by 2024 and for a tenth the amount of money NASA would have to spend.

Good point!

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#6 2017-12-16 16:45:30

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,312

Re: Trump's Weak Space Policy Directive-1 A Big Nothingburger

This is still a tag line that has no put up $$$ or direct push for any completion of Nasa rockets or other means to the method goal by a deadline. Nothing coming from the group that should be pushing Nasa to get moving on its projects to those goals. It gives no direction to how new space will be used to meet the goals or the $$$ that will go to them to complete or come up with some other method to meet the goal.

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