Despite criticism from the media about his stance on space policy, President-elect Trump is set to focus NASA mainly on space exploration following his inauguration in January, revealing his interest to “free NASA” from logistics so that they can focus on “space exploration” in a speech last month.
“Over the last 8 years, the Obama-Clinton administration has undermined our space program tremendously. That will change,” proclaimed Trump. “So many good things come out of it, including great jobs. That will change very quickly under a Trump administration and it’ll change before it’s too late.”
“A cornerstone of my policy is we will substantially expand public private partnerships to maximize the amount of investment and funding that is available for space exploration and development. This means launching and operating major space assets, right here, that employ thousands and spur innovation and fuel economic growth,” he continued. “I will free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistics agency for low earth orbit activity.”
Announcing his plans to expand NASA’s mission, Trump declared: “Instead we will refocus its mission on space exploration. Under a Trump administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars. With a victory in November, everything will change. Just think about what we can accomplish in 100 days.”
In September, the Scientific American graded Trump’s stance on space policy a 1 out of 5, however, placing both Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein above him. The magazine gave him a total of seven points for scientific policy, the least of all four main presidential candidates, while Clinton was given the most with 64 points.
Trump’s interest in the advancement of both NASA and space exploration has been long-term, with Trump declaring, “It is very sad to see what @BarackObama has done with NASA. He has gutted the program and made us dependent on the Russians,” on Twitter in 2012.
It is very sad to see what @BarackObama has done with NASA. He has gutted the program and made us dependent on the Russians.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2012
“Trump’s new space policy, heavily influenced by [U.S. Congressman Robert] Walker, is designed to coordinate public and private efforts to maximize American efforts to explore the entire solar system,” wrote Coburn Palmer for Inquisitr. “That includes mining valuable minerals from the asteroid belt and visiting Jupiter’s moon Europa, perhaps the best place to find alien life near Earth.”