NASA is returning to the Moon. President Donald Trump signed a directive in December to “refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery” using the Moon as a first step before a mission to Mars. But not everyone is pleased with the idea – and the space agency doesn’t know how they’ll go back.
How will NASA return to the Moon? When will they go? How much will it cost? These are questions that are as of yet unanswered. The Washington Post spoke with acting administrator Robert Lightfoot, who said the agency would partner with other countries, but didn’t specify which ones. He also said the effort would be a public-private partnership, but didn’t name any companies. The Washington Post said he offered “no specifics about the architecture of a moon program;” he told them, “We have no idea yet.”
Related: Trump signs directive to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars
The president’s yearly budget request to Congress could bring more details to light, according to Lightfoot. As for now many specifics are open to speculation – and the agency still doesn’t have a permanent administrator, just another top science position still unfilled in Trump’s administration, according to The Washington Post. Trump nominated United States Representative Jim Bridenstine, a Republican of Oklahoma, in September, but Florida’s two senators Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson criticized the choice. Some people say the top position in NASA – which has received bipartisan support for years – shouldn’t be handed to a politician.
Other people expressed frustration the agency’s direction has been changed once again – the third time in this century. Former astronaut Scott Kelly told The Washington Post, “We’re always asked to change directions every time we get a new president, and that just causes you to do negative work, work that doesn’t matter. I just hope someday we’ll have a president that will say, ‘You know what, we’ll just leave NASA on the course they are on, and see what NASA can achieve if we untie their hands.”
The Blue Moon lander is actually flying and will fit on the soon-to-fly SLS. So NASA does know how to get there. There is ice at the poles which will make a permanent base independent of Earth. And a "kilopower" portable nuclear power plant has been built and is being tested- also able to fit on the SLS. We just have to stop funding the soon-to-die-of-old-age space station to nowhere and spend that money on a shuttle era launch cadence of 6 to 8 per year for the SLS.
You people just don't get it...Trump simply says it and it happens, then he takes credit for it.